The Campbell Foundation Awards Grant to Study
New Strategy for Use of On-Demand PrEP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan R. Miller
April 4, 2017 – FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Campbell Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding HIV/AIDS research, has awarded an $85,000 grant to Indiana University School of Medicine researcher Brandon Gufford, PharmD., PhD.
Dr. Gufford’s team, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado, is investigating ways to make it easier and safer for high-risk individuals to take Tenofovir, the drug used in Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP, a medication used to prevent HIV.
While PrEP has been an effective means to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among men who have unprotected sex with men, complex dosing regimens, coupled with poor adherence and high cost, limit the widespread application of on-demand PrEP.
Because Tenofovir is rapidly released and eliminated from the body entirely through the kidneys, Gufford proposes to combine Tenofovir with Probenecid (PRO), a well-tolerated oral drug that could increase the length of time that PrEP remains active in the body, thus requiring less frequent dosing. This could result in substantially reduced costs, increased availability and adherence, as well as less damage to the kidneys.
“A boosted single dose strategy given before anticipated sexual activity, instead of the four doses of Tenofovir given before and after currently being implemented, would be more practical and may possibly improve adherence. Thus, this strategy should improve PrEP efficacy and compliance,” said Gufford.
The proposed clinical study will be conducted by investigators from Indiana University at the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Indiana Clinical Research Center (ICRC). Investigators from the University of Colorado will determine drug concentrations in all clinical blood samples using specialized methods and equipment that are already in place.
Campbell Foundation’s Executive Director Ken Rapkin stressed the importance of improved PrEP.
“On-demand PrEP can be improved and this team from Indiana University may be able to show that adding this already-approved drug to the current PrEP medication can reduce damage to the kidneys, a problem that doctors and patients have been aware of for some time,” said Rapkin. “Hopefully, the results also will lead to increased protection, thereby reducing pill burden on those taking PrEP around the globe.”
About The Campbell Foundation
The Campbell Foundation was established in 1995 by the late Richard Campbell Zahn as a private, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It focuses its funding on supporting alternative, nontraditional avenues of research. In its 22nd year, the Campbell Foundation has given away $10.4 million dollars, with about $1.2 million going to direct services.