Tablet unfolding in the stomach - a new salvation from HIV
American scientists have designed an oral drug against HIV, which can be taken once a week. Today patients have to take medications every day. As BBC notes, after successful experiments in pigs, the researchers can initiate clinical tests in humans in the next two years. This is a tablet that slowly releases active substances.
So, it looks like a regular tablet. But, when it gets into the stomach, its shell dissolves, and a special structure packed inside, starts to unfold as a four-centimeter star. It remains in the stomach for a week, steadily releasing the filling - the drug. According to the developers, the design will not interfere with digestion. When there is no more active substance in the star, it begins to decompose and leaves the body through the gastrointestinal tract.
It is known that three antiretroviral drugs, such as dolutegravir, rilpivirin and cabotegravir, were loaded into the star as part of the experiments in pigs. Earlier the star was loaded with an antimalarial drug, and it remained in the stomach for two weeks. In the future, the described delivery method can be used not only for HIV treatment. The star can be loaded with other means. Currently, Lyndra Company develops this technology. The developers are going to test the delivery method in the next 12 months. After that, HIV experiments may be initiated.