Pharmacokinetics and efficacy of a vaginally administered maraviroc gel in rhesus macaques

R. Karl Malcolm, Claire J. Forbes, Leslie Geer, Ronald S. Veazey, Laurie Goldman, Per Johan Klasse, John P. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of maraviroc, a CCR5-targeted HIV-1 entry inhibitor, in rhesus macaques following vaginal administration of various maraviroc-loaded aqueous hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) gels, and to correlate the PK data with efficacy in a single high-dose vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge model.

Methods: Maraviroc concentrations in vaginal fluid (Weck-Cel® sponge), vaginal tissue (punch biopsy) and plasma were assessed over 72 h following single dose vaginal application of various maraviroc-loaded HEC gels. The range of maraviroc gel concentrations was sufficiently broad (0.003 – 3.3% w/w) such that test gels included both fully solubilised and predominantly dispersed formulations. The efficacy of the HEC gels against a single high dose vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge was also measured, and correlated with the PK concentrations.

Results: Maraviroc concentrations in vaginal fluid (range 104 – 107 ng/mL), vaginal tissue (100-1200 ng/g) and plasma (< 102 ng/mL) were highly dependent on maraviroc gel loading, irrespective of the form of the maraviroc component within the gel (solubilised vs. dispersed). Fluid and plasma concentrations were generally highest 0.5 or 2 h after gel application, before declining steadily out to 72 h. Maraviroc concentrations in the various biological compartments correlated strongly with the extent of protection against vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge. Complete protection was achieved with a 3.3% w/w maraviroc gel.

Conclusions: A high degree of correlation between PK and efficacy was observed. Based on the data obtained with the 3.3% w/w maraviroc gel, maintenance of vaginal fluid and tissue levels in the order of 107 ng/mL and 103 ng/g, respectively, are required for complete protection with this compound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Early online date30 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • HIV; Vaginal microbicide; Drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacokinetics and efficacy of a vaginally administered maraviroc gel in rhesus macaques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this