Monday, February 9, 2009

CROI - Sex Gels Show Protection in Women, Monkeys; plus PrEP news

via Bloomberg

A vaginal gel made by Indevus Pharmaceuticals Inc. showed first signs that such a product might protect women from the AIDS virus.

Women who used the gel were 30 percent less likely to become infected with the virus than those using no gel or an unmedicated product, said Salim Abdool Karim, a Columbia University researcher who presented the study today at an AIDS meeting in Montreal (CROI - Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.) While the finding didn’t pass a test for statistical significance, it should spur further examination of Lexington, Massachusetts-based Indevus’s product, he said...

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...U.S. government research presented at the conference also suggested that Gilead’s Viread and Truvada, used in gels or in oral pills, might prevent the spread of HIV, said scientists studying a monkey equivalent of the disease.

In one test, animals treated with a gel containing Viread were completely protected from SHIV, an animal version of the AIDS virus, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists said today at the conference in Montreal. The single- drug gel was just as protective as a gel containing two-drug Truvada, said Walid Heneine, laboratory chief of CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention, who led the study.

“This is very promising, although we’re waiting for the results of human trials to see if they correlate with animal studies,” Heneine said in an interview.

The second trial measured how oral doses of Truvada, a combination of two Gilead drugs, would affect monkeys exposed to HIV through the rectum.

Almost all untreated monkeys were quickly infected after being exposed to the virus twice. Two doses of Truvada, one before and another after rectal exposure, protected most monkeys from infection, said Gerardo Garcia-Lerma, a CDC senior scientist in the HIV/AIDS prevention division...

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Read the complete article on Bloomberg here.

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