A Huge Breakthrough?

This comes by way of PlanetOut.com and it could be a huge turning point in preventing the spread of HIV and genital herpes:

Microbicidal lube reported to block HIV

Monday, July 30, 2007 / 10:49 AM

A sex lubricant developed by an Australian company promises to block both HIV and the HSV-2 genital herpes virus, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported.

Tests on lab animals have shown Starpharma’s SPL7013 microbicide gel between 85 and 100 percent effective at deactivating both viruses, lead researcher Dr. Jeremy Paull of Melbourne-based Starpharma told last week’s International AIDS Society conference in Sydney.

Human clinical trials are now under way in Australia, Kenya and the United States. Early results of the second small-scale trial, presented at the Sydney congress, show it to be safe and well tolerated in healthy men, Paull said.

The gel, dubbed VivaGel, is also being tested in the United States as a contraceptive, and Paull told the congress it would be most useful to halt HIV’s spread among heterosexuals in sub-Saharan Africa. A top condom seller this month acquired the right to produce condoms coated with VivaGel, Starpharma said in a written statement.

The gel’s active ingredient is dendrimer, a molecule that binds itself to the viruses and prevents them from infecting healthy cells. In a double-blind study of 36 men — some circumcised, some not — no evidence was seen of the microbicide entering the bloodstream, Starpharma said July 24 in a written statement. About a third of the men reported “mild” itching, burning or other adverse effects, evenly spread between the drug-takers and the placebo group.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year gave VivaGel fast-track status, largely on its potential to block AIDS and herpes among women, and the National Institutes of Health has granted Starpharma US$20.3 million to help develop its potential against HIV, the company said.

“I believe it may be unique in terms of development for two different indications, both genital herpes and HIV,” said Dr. Roberta Black of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who chaired the conference session, the Telegraph reported. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

Is it too late to buy stock in the company that makes this stuff? The implications are enormous. Not that I will be running out to bareback with every big bulge leather dude I can find once this stuff is available, but that others who do participate in risky play could be better protected as well as those who do play safe.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. This sure sounds like the most promising thing to come around in a long time… lets hope they are on the right track.

  2. My fingers crossed that it is everything it purports itself to be. If it is, that would be a great breakthrough.

  3. This breakthrough certainly connects the lacunae in this endevour.In India,we are coating the condoms with Nisin gel and developing for use for heterosex and homosex.

  4. The barrier methods are the best adjuncts for microbicides and this breakthrough proves this magic event

  5. Posted by Brian Paul Wellington on August 3, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    The stock trades in Australia under ticker symbol SPL.AX

    In the USA it trades as an ADR under the symbol SPHRY.PK

    The market has yet to see the implications as the stock price is very low, at only 37 Australian cents with a marketcap of about 50 million.

    Considering what a breakthrough they’ve made in preventing both HIV and Herpes, their share price is bloody cheap.

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