Laboratory testing of a modified version of the Viread (tenofovir) microbicide gel provides further evidence that it may be safe for rectal use, according to a paper published online ahead of print by the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
The encouraging results contribute to a better understanding of the gel’s tolerability, already evident in preliminary findings from a 65-person Phase I clinical trial reported at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections earlier this year in Seattle.
“The lining of the rectum is much more fragile than the vaginal epithelium, so we can’t be certain a product like tenofovir gel that is safe for vaginal use will be completely safe to use in the rectum,” said lead study author Charlene Dezzutti, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) in an accompanying news announcement. “We are very encouraged by our laboratory data that suggest the reformulated gel could be safer for rectal use, and serve as a dual compartment gel for use in both the vagina and rectum.”
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