Scientists develop a nanomedicine approach to improve HIV drug therapy

nanomedicine approach to improve HIV drug therapy

In a new study led by the University of Liverpool, researchers use nanotechnology to improve the delivery of drugs to HIV patients. The finding is newly published in Nature Communications.

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to the prevention and treatment of disease in the human body.

This evolving discipline has the potential to dramatically change medical science. Now it is already having an impact in several clinically used therapies and diagnostics in the world.

The treatment of HIV requires daily oral dosing of HIV drugs. Many patients suffer from the significant complications that arise from the high pill burden.

Recent evaluations of HIV patient groups have shown that patients are willing to switch to nanomedicine alternatives.

Research efforts by the Liverpool team have focused on the development of new oral therapies using Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) technology.

This technology can improve drug absorption into the body, reduce both the dose and the cost per dose, and enable existing healthcare budgets to treat more patients.

Through the use of a rapid small-scale nanomedicine screening approach developed at Liverpool, the researchers were able to generate a novel water dispersible nanotherapy.

Researchers suggest that the finding has wide applicability. It has the potential to overcome challenges with current antiretroviral therapy.

The challenges include administration of high doses that are needed to achieve efficacious concentrations in the body, and the urgent need for better formulations for children living with HIV.

The research is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is in ongoing human trials.

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Citation: Giardiello M, et al. (2016). Accelerated oral nanomedicine discovery from miniaturized screening to clinical production exemplified by pediatric HIV nanotherapies. Nature Communications 7: 13184. DOI:10.1038/ncomms13184.
Figure legend: This image is credited to University of Liverpool.