A research group at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has used a system they call LASER ART (long-acting slow effective release antiretroviral therapy) to become aware of a surprising pathway to open cell storage areas for HIV/AIDS treatment. The discovery could revolutionize present treatments for HIV/AIDS through extending the actions of disease-combating medicines.
The LASER ART study is important, because the invention would be broadly applied. The discovery makes it possible for conventional medicines, taken once or two times per day, to be modified into once a month dosing.
Such changes would ease the burden on patients and their caregivers. The injectable drug bypasses oral absorption and brings the drug to body sites where the virus continues to hide in tissues.
The study was published within the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, one of the world’s leading scientific journals reporting new, high-impact translational studies.
The group composed of 14 members was spearheaded by three members of the UNMC Department of Pharmacology/Experimental Neuroscience in the College of Medicine. The team also include researchers from the UNMC College of Pharmacy.
The authors commented that this study will likely have a robust global impact on HIV/AIDS health care. Getting patients to take medicine daily is complicated. To take medicines every month or even longer will make it simpler for sufferers to be compliant whilst aiding the delivery of the drug to tissues of the body that are not easily reached by conventional drug treatments.
The LASER ART developed by the UNMC scientists is a formulation of injectable drugs. The long-lasting medicine was developed by making pharmacological changes within the chemical structure of the drug, while at the same time protecting against infection.
The new drug formulation is not anti-HIV treatment, rather one that opens storage areas within cells where drugs can be maintained for a long period of time. This extends the intervals for dosing and enables physicians to administer the drug over an expanded interval of time.
Prior to this discovery, the authors said that only two medications had been modified in this fashion. Their use was restricted, since every injection would require several ounces of drug with greater volumes in each succeeding injection. This amount of drug given can possibly be cut in half with this new medication.
Dr. Gendelman said LASER ART allows drug crystals to come to destinations in tissues and blood and stay there. These drug crystals are blanketed against destruction (metabolism) in the liver and excretion in the kidney and urine.
To accomplish this, the scientists merged LASER ART with URMC-099, which alone has no antiviral outcomes. Co-administration with antiretroviral drug treatments presents greater viral suppression.
The scientists learned that a number of innovative tactics — slow drug dissolution, poor water-solubility and multiplied bioavailability — could deliver the medicine to the sites of active viral progress and accelerate clearance of the virus.
The researchers remarked that one drug can supply the opposite drug to sites inside the cells where the virus grows and whilst sequestering the drug crystals at sites protecting it from degradation. The drug inside the cell slowly dissolves from the crystal and is launched into the blood. For them, this can be a new solution to lengthen the actions of drugs. It is a way to fortify drug effectiveness and to permit sufferers to take drugs without interruption.