An Open-Label Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Tenofovir Gel and Oral Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate

Ian M. McGowan, Ratiya Pamela Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Rhonda M. Brand, Mark A. Marzinke, Craig W. Hendrix, Sherri Johnson, Jeanna Piper, Timothy H. Holtz, Marcel E. Curlin, Anupong Chitwarakorn, Boonyos Raengsakulrach, Gustavo Doncel, Jill L. Schwartz, James F. Rooney, Ross D. Cranston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Microbicide Trials Network-017 study was undertaken to characterize the safety, acceptability, pharmacokinetic (PK), and pharmacodynamic profile of the reduced-glycerin (RG) 1% tenofovir (RG-TFV) gel compared to oral emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF). The study was a Phase 2, three-period, randomized sequence, open-label, expanded safety and acceptability crossover study. In each 8-week study period, HIV-1-uninfected participants were randomized to RG-TFV rectal gel daily or RG-TFV rectal gel before and after receptive anal intercourse (RAI) (or at least twice weekly in the event of no RAI), or daily oral FTC/TDF. A mucosal substudy was conducted at sites in the United States and Thailand. Samples were collected to evaluate PK and ex vivo biopsy challenge with HIV-1. A total of 195 men who have sex with men and transgender women were enrolled in the parent study and 37 in the mucosal substudy. As previously reported, both products were found to be safe and acceptable. Systemic TFV concentrations were significantly higher following oral exposure and daily rectal administration compared to RAI-associated product use (p < .001). All three routes of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) administration resulted in the inhibition of explant infection (p < .05), and there was a significant inverse correlation between explant HIV-1 p24 and tissue concentrations of TFV and FTC (p < .0001). Despite significant differences in systemic and mucosal drug concentrations, all three PrEP regimens were able to protect rectal explants from ex vivo HIV infection. These data suggest that there is a rationale for co-development of oral and topical antiretroviral PrEP for HIV prevention. Clinical Trial Registration number: NCT01687218.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • HIV
  • emtricitabine
  • microbicide
  • prevention
  • rectal
  • tenofovir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Immunology


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