Thursday, February 1, 2007

Microbicides by the wayside...??

I opened the paper to some sad news this morning. Two microbicide studies, one in South Africa, Benin, Uganda and India, and the other in Nigeria were stopped because out of 35 seroconverters, more were in the study group than the placebo group. I don't think this will totally kill the microbicide dream, however it may be hard to bounce back from this. When nonoxynol-9 was smashed in 2001 because it actually increased STD and HIV transmission nothing really replaced it as a spermacide. The beauty of microbicides is that they put more power in the hands of women who have sex with men who may refuse to wear condoms.

This press release from CONRAD summarizes the quick decision and also puts some worries to rest by outlining their basic research design and their commitment to learning from what went wrong this time around.

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