Kaptur, P.E., Romano, J.W., Nel, A.M., Smythe, S.C., Habibi, S.
Dapivirine, a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is in development as a microbicide for the protection of women against HIV infection. A randomized, double-blind, phase 1 trial was conducted in 36 healthy HIV-negative women to compare the pharmacokinetics of 2 dapivirine vaginal gel formulations (0.05% each) and their safety with the hydroxyethyl cellulose-based universal placebo gel. Gel was self-administered once daily for a total of 11 days. Blood and vaginal fluid samples were collected sequentially over 24 days for pharmacokinetic analysis. Safety was evaluated by pelvic examination, colposcopy, adverse events, and clinical laboratory assessments. Adverse event profiles were similar for the 3 gels. Most events were mild and not related to study gel. Headache and vaginal hemorrhage (any vaginal bleeding) were most common. Plasma concentrations of dapivirine did not exceed 1.1 ng/ml. Steady-state conditions were reached within approximately 10 days. Dapivirine concentrations in vaginal fluids were slightly higher for Gel 4789, but C<sub>max</sub> values on days 1 and 14 were not significantly different. Terminal half-life was 72-73 hours in plasma and 15-17 hours in vaginal fluids. Both formulations of dapivirine gel were safe and well tolerated. Dapivirine was delivered to the lower genital tract at concentrations at least 5 logs greater than in vitro inhibitory concentrations.