Young, K., Romano, J., Rosenberg, Z., Nel, A., Smythe, S., Malcolm, K., McCoy, C.
Vaginal microbicides for the prevention of HIV transmission may be an important option for protecting women from infection. Incorporation of dapivirine, a lead candidate nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, into intravaginal rings (IVRs) for sustained mucosal delivery may increase microbicide product adherence and efficacy compared with conventional vaginal formulations. Twenty-four healthy HIV-negative women 18-35 years of age were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to dapivirine matrix IVR, dapivirine reservoir IVR, or placebo IVR. Dapivirine concentrations were measured in plasma and vaginal fluid samples collected at sequential time points over the 33-day study period (28 days of IVR use, 5 days of follow-up). Safety was assessed by pelvic/colposcopic examinations, clinical laboratory tests, and adverse events. Both IVR types were safe and well tolerated with similar adverse events observed in the placebo and dapivirine groups. Dapivirine from both IVR types was successfully distributed throughout the lower genital tract at concentrations over 4 logs greater than the EC<sub>50</sub> against wild-type HIV-1 (LAI) in MT4 cells. Maximum concentration (C<sub>max</sub>) and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) values were significantly higher with the matrix than reservoir IVR. Mean plasma concentrations of dapivirine were