UK researchers explore use of nanotechnology to improve HIV drug therapies

23 October 2016 (Last Updated October 23rd, 2016 18:30)

Researchers at the University of Liverpool, UK, are exploring the use of nanotechnology to improve administration and availability of drug therapies to HIV patients.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool, UK, are exploring the use of nanotechnology to improve administration and availability of drug therapies to HIV patients.

Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology for prevention and treatment of disease in the human body.

This technique has the potential to dramatically change medical science and is already having an impact on a number of clinically used therapies and diagnostics worldwide, according to a statement posted on the university's website.

The HIV treatment currently includes the daily oral dosing of drugs, which involves complications that arise from the high pill burden.

A recent investigation has discovered that HIV patient groups have shown their desire to switch to nanomedicine alternatives if benefits can be shown.

A team of university researchers are working on the development of new oral therapies, by using solid drug nanoparticle (SDN) technology.

"A team of university researchers are working on the development of new oral therapies, by using solid drug nanoparticle (SDN) technology."

The SDN technology is anticipated to reduce both the dose and the cost per dose.

The research is being conducted by the collaborative nanomedicine research programme led by Pharmacologist professor Andrew Owen and Materials Chemist professor Steve Rannard.

Owen said: “The fruits of our interdisciplinary research are beginning to be realised. Our approach has the potential to overcome challenges with current anti-retroviral therapy, which include administration of high doses needed to achieve efficacious concentrations in the body, and the urgent need for better formulations for children living with HIV.”

The research is currently undergoing human trials, and is being backed by a funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


Image: The research examined the use of nanotechnology to improve the delivery of drugs to HIV patients. Photo: © University of Liverpool.