Developing Combination Microbicide Products

Consistent with advances in HIV/AIDS treatment regimens that now combine antiretrovirals from different classes, experts anticipate that microbicides based on a combination of ARVs may maximize their protective effect:

  • Combination microbicides could target HIV at different points in the life cycle.
  • Multiple ARVs may reduce the chance of acquiring drug-resistant HIV over time.

Where HIV may be resistant to one drug, another drug with a different mechanism of action delivered in the same product may be effective. 

The use of newer ARV combination treatments has proven to strongly diminish the residual replication of HIV and is therefore much more effective in preventing the development of HIV drug resistance. Scientists anticipate the same may hold true for ARV combination prevention methods such as microbicides.

Combination Products in IPM’s Pipeline

The most advanced combination microbicide in IPM’s portfolio contains the NNRTI dapivirine (TMC120) and the CCR5 blocker maraviroc in a long-acting vaginal ring that would release the drug slowly over the course of a month. Researchers from the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) and IPM collaborated on a Phase I trial to evaluate the safety of the dapivirine-maraviroc ring, the first trial of its kind. IPM is now optimizing the ring following the completion of the trial.

IPM also is developing a product that combines maraviroc and the NRTI tenofovir.

Learn more about how ARV-based microbicides work.