Development and characterization of a long-acting nanoformulated abacavir prodrug

Dhirender Singh, Jo Ellyn McMillan, James Hilaire, Nagsen Gautam, Diana Palandri, Yazen Alnouti, Howard E. Gendelman, Benson Edagwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Aim: A myristoylated abacavir (ABC) prodrug was synthesized to extend drug half-life and bioavailability. Methods: Myristoylated ABC (MABC) was made by esterifying myristic acid to the drug's 5-hydroxy-cyclopentene group. Chemical composition, antiretroviral activity, cell uptake and retention and cellular trafficking of free MABC and poloxamer nanoformulations of MABC were assessed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance and tested in human monocyte-derived macrophages. Pharmacokinetics of ABC and nanoformulated MABC were evaluated after intramuscular injection into mice. Results: MABC antiretroviral activity in monocyte-derived macrophages was comparable to native drug. Encasement of MABC into poloxamer nanoparticles extended drug bioavailability for 2 weeks. Conclusion: MABC synthesis and encasement in polymeric nanoformulations improved intracellular drug accumulation and demonstrate translational potential as part of a long-acting antiretroviral regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1913-1927
Number of pages15
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2016


  • abacavir prodrug
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • monocyte-macrophages
  • nanoformulated antiretrovirals
  • pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Development
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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