Pitt working on microbicides formulated as films/strips

Published: September 16, 2010

Borrowing a concept used to make breath strips, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are developing a quick-dissolving vaginal film containing an HIV-blocking drug, officials said Wednesday.

"The idea is that it would dissolve quickly in the vagina to prevent HIV infection," said Sharon Hillier, a senior investigator at Magee-Womens Research Institute and co-principal investigator of the project. "It’s a bit of an old technique, like the Listerine breath mint strip, but it’s a whole new way of delivering the drug potentially in a less expensive way."

An $11.8 million, five-year federal grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is paying for the work, led also by Lisa Cencia Rohan, an associate professor at Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. Researchers plan to conduct tests within a year on about 40 local, healthy women.

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