People living with HIV can achieve normal lives if only they are put on antiretroviral therapy early before the virus gets to its advanced stages. The treatment requires the patient to take medication on a daily basis and can only be effective if taken every day.
Chronic oral dosing may have significant problems that are caused by the many pills that patients are required to take. The high pill burden may also have fluctuating conditions that could set in motion non-adherence to treatment.
Nevertheless, researchers at the University of Liverpool have successfully been able to improve drug therapies for HIV-positive people by use of nanotechnology. Current evaluation of HIV patient groups have suggested a readiness to move to nanomedicine options only if the advantages can be clearly shown.
What is Nanotechnology?
Manipulation of substance on an atomic, molecular and/or supramolecular measure is what is referred to as nanotechnology. Also, nanomedicine is the use of nanotechnology to the hindrance and treatment of illness in the human physique.
Researchers at the university used this technology to develop smaller pills that are less costly in terms of manufacturing them and are better for patients.
In addition, the researchers have concentrated on the creation of fresh oral therapies by the use of Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) technology. The technology improves absorption of the drug in the body.
This, in turn, reduces the number of pills that a patient is expected to take as well as the cost of the drugs and makes it easier for health care institutions to treat more patients suffering from HIV.
Results from the Trial
The trial funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development successfully confirmed results that showed the possibility of a dose reduction to up to half all the while sustaining it’s the therapeutic coverage. The trial saw the invention of two drugs, efavirenz (EFV) and lopinavir (LPV).
Efavirenz is at the moment W.H.O’s most preferred regimen and has three-quarters of the adult patient population on EFV-based HIV treatment in low and middle-income nations. The trial is part of OPTIMIZE, a worldwide partnership that works to make it easy and possible for access to simpler, safer and more cost-friendly HIV treatment.
The results of the trial were presented in Seattle at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
Implications of the Trial
If implemented, the trial could help in the manufacturing of low cost but effective drugs cutting cost on production. This is a great boost for the fight against the HIV epidemic on a global scale. Reduced cost of production also lowers the financial burden on especially low-income countries where the burden of the infection is greatest.
In addition, the trial will make the burden lighter for HIV positive patients who will no longer need to take drugs on a daily basis as well as reduce the amount of money spent by patients on treatment of HIV.
Researchers are hopeful that the trial will have a significant change in medical science as well as a positive impact in the amount of clinically used diagnostics and therapies across the globe.
Source: University of Liverpool. “New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half.” ScienceDaily.