News In Brief

Halt to microbicide trial sets back AIDS research

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:276
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    Two phase III clinical trials of cellulose sulphate—a topical microbicide gel being tested for HIV prevention in women—have been halted because preliminary results showed that the compound increased rather than reduced the risk of HIV infection.

    The microbicide, a cotton based compound developed under the brand name Ushercell by Polydex Pharmaceuticals, based in Toronto, had shown initial promise and was being tested on 1333 women in South Africa, Benin, Uganda, and India. The study was sponsored by Conrad, a partnership of the Eastern Virginia Medical School and the US Agency for International Development, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Simultaneously, Family Health International halted a second phase III trial of Ushercell on 1800 women in Nigeria. …

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