April 1, 2010
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CONRAD News

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Meetings

Microbicides 2010, May 22-25

This year's Microbicide's meeting will be the first held in Pittsburgh, the city of bridges, and is aptly entitled “Microbicides: Building Bridges in HIV Prevention." 

Dr. Jill Schwartz will be presenting on the Pilot Clinical Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Study of UC781 Vaginal Gel.  Dr. Chris Mauck submitted two abstracts, one entitled, “Colposcopy: Still Useful in Microbicide Safety Trials?” and the other entitled, “Assessing Markers of Inflammation after Vaginal Product Use: Nonoxynol-9, Cellulose Sulfate, and HEC Placebo Comparative Double-Blind Phase I Trial.”

CONRAD is a co-sponsor of the conference and will also co-sponsor the Microbicides Media and Communications Initiative's (MMCI) Communications Resource Center, next to the conference Media Center.  The Communications Resource Center will direct attendees to expert sources on a variety of microbicide and vaccine related topics as needed, as well as provide media training at scheduled times throughout the conference.  A schedule is forthcoming. For more information on the conference, go to: www.microbicides2010.org.   

Trends in Microbicide Formulation, January 25-26, 2010

Arlington, Virginia

Chaired by David Friend and co-chaired by Sanjay Garg and Gustavo Doncel, this 2-day workshop brought together the leading experts in microbicide drug and device formulation to present and discuss the following:

  • Mechanisms of HIV transmission, microbicide agents and formulations
  • Preformulation characteristics and data required in designing an effective formulation
  • Conventional and novel formulation options and approaches
  • Preclinical evaluation of microbicide formulations, in-vitro in-vivo correlation
  • Advanced and "out of the box" formulation approaches (e.g., nanotechnology)
  • Models for delivery of live organisms and biotechnology derived products
  • Scale up/manufacturing challenges and relevant regulations
  • Gaps in knowledge and steps required to bridge them

Proceedings of the workshop will be published in the form of an online/printed supplement to a PubMed-indexed journal, made available by open access to participants and the scientific community at large. 

Proprietary Products Research and Development (PPRD) Program Scientific Advisory Committee, January 27, 2010 

Arlington, VA

The PPRD Scientific Advisory Committee, a group of prominent investigators with expertise in HIV virology, STDs, preclinical testing and research, pharmaceutical science, reproductive biology, obstetrics and gynecology, and microbicides, met to review the progress made to date and provide guidance for future PPRD work.

The CONRAD PPRD Program aims to improve reproductive health in developing countries by reducing HIV/AIDS transmission through the development of new, safe and effective microbicides, by using UC781, tenofovir and other CONRAD proprietary compounds alone or in combination. The specific objectives allow for dual-protection technologies displaying microbicidal and contraceptive properties that expand product acceptability and impact on reproductive health.

International Conference on Reproductive Health and the Symposium on the Challenges of Microbicide Research, February 8-10, 2010 and February 11-12, 2010

Jaipur and New Delhi, India

On February 8, 2010, Dr. Gabelnick gave a lecture entitled "The Challenge of Providing Dual Protection" at the International Conference on Reproductive Health and 20th Annual Meeting of the Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility. The lecture focused on meeting women's needs for pregnancy prevention and protection from HIV/STIs through the development of dual-protection technologies. Dr. Gabelnick stressed that while recognition of the need for dual-protection technologies is increasing, scientific challenges remain and additional funding is needed to support the development of these technologies.

On February 11, 2010, Dr. Gabelnick presented at the Symposium on the Challenges of Microbicide Research. His presentation was entitled, "Developing a Robust Pipeline with Diverse Mechanisms of Action" and focused on the search for an effective microbicide.  Candidate microbicides must meet rigorous preclinical testing criteria and must also be easy to manufacture, low cost and acceptable to users.  Emerging microbicide candidates include reverse transcriptase inhibitors, entry inhibitors, integrase inhibitors and dual activity compounds. According to Dr. Gabelnick, the development of combination microbicides is a logical next step because combination microbicides offer wider spectrum protection, and are likely to provide a higher barrier to resistance.