A Combination Vaginal Ring Releasing Dapivirine and Darunavir

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Background: Combination microbicide vaginal rings, containing two or more antiretrovirals targeting different steps in the HIV replicative process, may be more effective than single microbicide products at preventing sexual transmission of HIV. Here, we report the preclinical development, including in vitro release and macaque pharmacokinetics, of matrix-type silicone elastomer rings containing dapivirine (DPV; an experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) and darunavir (DRV; a marketed protease inhibitor). Methods: Macaque rings containing 25 mg DPV, 300 mg DRV and 100 mg DPV, and 300 mg DRV were manufactured and characterised by differential scanning calorimetry. In vitro release was assessed into isopropanol/water and simulated vaginal fluid. Macaque vaginal fluid and blood serum concentrations for both antiretrovirals were measured during 28-day ring use. Tissue levels were measured on day 28. Ex vivo challenge studies were performed on vaginal fluid samples and IC50 values calculated.
Results: DRV caused a concentration-dependent reduction in the DPV melting temperature in both solid drug mixes and in the combination ring. In vitro release from rings was dependent on drug loading, the number of drugs present, and the release medium. In macaques, serum concentrations of both
microbicides were maintained between 101-102 pg/mL. Vaginal fluid levels
ranged between 103-104 ng/g and 104-105 ng/g for DPV and DRV, respectively. Vaginal tissue concentrations decreased in rank order: vagina
(1.8×103-3.8×103 ng/g) > cervix (9.4×101-3.9×102 ng/g) > uterus (0-108 ng/g) > rectum (0-40 ng/g). Measured IC50 values (HIV-1 BaL) determined from macaque vaginal fluid samples were < 2 ng/mL for both compounds. Conclusions: Based on these results, and in light of the ongoing clinical progress of the 25mg DPV ring, a combination vaginal ring containing DPV and DRV is a viable second-generation HIV microbicide candidate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2014
EventHIV R4P - HIV Research for Prevention - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 28 Oct 201431 Oct 2014


ConferenceHIV R4P - HIV Research for Prevention
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town
Internet address


  • vaginal ring
  • microbicide
  • dapivirine
  • darunavir
  • silicone elastomer
  • macaque
  • pharmacokinetics


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