OBJECTIVES: To directly measure the cervico-vaginal lavage (CVL) and plasma PRO 2000 concentrations achieved by vaginal dosing. DESIGN: A sub-study of a prospective randomized, double-blind phase 1 trial of a candidate vaginal microbicide, PRO 2000 gel. METHODS: Thirty-six sexually abstinent women self-administered 4% PRO 2000 gel, 0.5% PRO 2000 gel or placebo gel twice on day 0 and then once daily for a further 12 days. RESULTS: There was no evidence of systemic absorption of PRO 2000. PRO 2000 concentrations in CVL exceeded 25 microg/ml in all women in both the 4 and 0.5% groups at 2 h post-first dose, and in 10 of 12 of the women in the 4% gel group compared with five of 12 of women in the 0.5% group at 12 h post-seventh dose. Single use of both 4 and 0.5% PRO 2000 gels was therefore associated with levels of PRO 2000 in CVL that would be capable of preventing HIV infection in vitro, although the 4% gel gave a greater margin of excess. Levels substantially in excess of the target concentration were present 12 h after repeated dosing in twice as many 4% gel recipients compared with 0.5% gel recipients. CONCLUSIONS: Both PRO 2000 gel strengths provided satisfactory in-vivo HIV inhibitory concentrations. However, our observations show that higher concentrations of PRO 2000 are likely to provide a greater margin of potential efficacy in the context of sexual intercourse provided safety issues are equivalent for differing concentrations of the agent.
AIDS (2006) 20 (7) pp. 1027-1030.