Introduction: Fast-dissolving vaginal film formulations release antiretroviral drugs directly into vaginal fluid and may be as efficient at drug delivery yet more acceptable to women than gels. In this Phase 1 vaginal film study, the safety, acceptability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of two doses of tenofovir (TFV) film and TFV 1% gel were compared to corresponding placebo formulations. Methods: Seventy-eight healthy HIV negative women were randomized to self-insert daily vaginal film (10 mg TFV, 40 mg TFV or placebo) or 4 mL of vaginal gel (TFV 1% [40 mg] or placebo) for seven days. Grade 2 and higher adverse events (AEs) related to study product were compared across study arms using Fisher's exact test. Plasma TFV concentrations were measured before and 2 hours after last product use. Paired cervical and vaginal tissue biopsies obtained 2 hours after the last dose were measured to determine tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) concentrations and exposed to HIV in an ex vivo challenge assay. Acceptability was assessed through questionnaire. Results: There was only one grade 2 or higher related AE, the primary endpoint; it occurred in the placebo gel arm. AEs occurred in 90% of participants; the majority (91%) were grade 1. AEs were similar across study arms. TFV concentrations in plasma and TFV-DP concentrations in cervical and vaginal tissues were comparable between 40 mg TFV film and the TFV gel groups. There was a significant relationship between reduced viral replication and TFV-DP concentrations in cervical tissues. Film users were less likely to report product leakage than gel users (66% vs. 100%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Films were safe and well tolerated. Furthermore, films delivered TFV to mucosal tissues at concentrations similar to gel and were sufficient to block HIV infection of genital tissue ex vivo.
- vaginal film
- vaginal gel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases