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Physicochemical considerations in the formulation development of silicone elastomer vaginal rings releasing 5-nitroimidazole drugs for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common dysbiosis of the human vaginal microbiota characterized by depletion of hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid-producing Lactobacillus bacteria and an overgrowth of certain facultative anaerobic bacteria. Although short-term cure rates following treatment with frontline antibiotics (most notably oral metronidazole (MNZ), clindamycin vaginal cream, and MNZ vaginal gel) are generally high, longer-term recurrence rates are an issue. The development of vaginal formulations offering continuous/sustained administration of antibiotic drugs over one or more weeks might prove useful in reducing recurrence. Here, we report the manufacture and preclinical testing of matrix-type vaginal rings offering sustained release of four 5-nitroimidazole antimicrobial drugs either being used clinically or having potential in treatment of BV – MNZ, tinidazole (TNZ), secnidazole (SNZ) and ornidazole (ONZ). All four drugs showed good compatibility with a medical-grade addition-cure silicone elastomer based upon thermal analysis experiments, and matrix-type rings containing 250 mg (3.125 %w/w) of each drug were successfully manufactured by reaction injection molding. 28-day in vitro drug release studies demonstrated root-time kinetics, with daily release rates of 25, 22, 9 and 6 mg/day½ for SNZ, ONZ, MNZ and TNZ, respectively. The rank order of drug release from rings correlated with the simple molecular permeability parameter S/V, where S is the measured drug solubility in silicone fluid and V is the drug molecular volume. The relative merits of SNZ and ONZ over MNZ (the current reference treatment) are discussed. The data support development of vaginal rings for sustained release of 5-nitroimidazole compounds for treatment of BV.

September 2023

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Citation:

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common dysbiosis of the human vaginal microbiota characterized by depletion of hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid-producing Lactobacillus bacteria and an overgrowth of certain facultative anaerobic bacteria. Although short-term cure rates following treatment with frontline antibiotics (most notably oral metronidazole (MNZ), clindamycin vaginal cream, and MNZ vaginal gel) are generally high, longer-term recurrence rates are an issue. The development of vaginal formulations offering continuous/sustained administration of antibiotic drugs over one or more weeks might prove useful in reducing recurrence. Here, we report the manufacture and preclinical testing of matrix-type vaginal rings offering sustained release of four 5-nitroimidazole antimicrobial drugs either being used clinically or having potential in treatment of BV – MNZ, tinidazole (TNZ), secnidazole (SNZ) and ornidazole (ONZ). All four drugs showed good compatibility with a medical-grade addition-cure silicone elastomer based upon thermal analysis experiments, and matrix-type rings containing 250 mg (3.125 %w/w) of each drug were successfully manufactured by reaction injection molding. 28-day in vitro drug release studies demonstrated root-time kinetics, with daily release rates of 25, 22, 9 and 6 mg/day½ for SNZ, ONZ, MNZ and TNZ, respectively. The rank order of drug release from rings correlated with the simple molecular permeability parameter S/V, where S is the measured drug solubility in silicone fluid and V is the drug molecular volume. The relative merits of SNZ and ONZ over MNZ (the current reference treatment) are discussed. The data support development of vaginal rings for sustained release of 5-nitroimidazole compounds for treatment of BV.

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Authors: Zhao, X., Boyd, P., Bashi, Y.H.D., McCoy, C.F. and Malcolm, R.K.

Health Risks(s):

  • Bacterial Vaginosis

Product type(s):

  • IVR
  • VaginalCream

Topic(s):

  • DrugInteractions
  • Development

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