Transformation of tenofovir into stable ProTide nanocrystals with long-acting pharmacokinetic profiles

Denise A. Cobb, Nathan Smith, Suyash Deodhar, Aditya N. Bade, Nagsen Gautam, Bhagya Laxmi Dyavar Shetty, Jo Ellyn McMillan, Yazen Alnouti, Samuel M. Cohen, Howard E. Gendelman, Benson Edagwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Treatment and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus type one (HIV-1) infection was transformed through widespread use of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, ART has limitations in requiring life-long daily adherence. Such limitations have led to the creation of long-acting (LA) ART. While nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) remain the ART backbone, to the best of our knowledge, none have been converted into LA agents. To these ends, we transformed tenofovir (TFV) into LA surfactant stabilized aqueous prodrug nanocrystals (referred to as NM1TFV and NM2TFV), enhancing intracellular drug uptake and retention. A single intramuscular injection of NM1TFV, NM2TFV, or a nanoformulated tenofovir alafenamide (NTAF) at 75 mg/kg TFV equivalents to Sprague Dawley rats sustains active TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP) levels ≥ four times the 90% effective dose for two months. NM1TFV, NM2TFV and NTAF elicit TFV-DP levels of 11,276, 1,651, and 397 fmol/g in rectal tissue, respectively. These results are a significant step towards a LA TFV ProTide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5458
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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