A safe and effective microbicide product designed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV-1 rests on a solid foundation provided by the proper selection and preclinical characterization of both its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and formulation. The evaluation of API and formulation physicochemical properties, drug release, specific antiviral activity, cell and tissue toxicity, organ toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics and efficacy provides information to understand the product, make go/no go decisions in the critical path of product development and complete a regulatory dossier to file an investigational new drug (IND) with the US Food and Drug Administration. Incorporation of new models, assays and biomarkers has expanded our ability to understand the mechanisms of action underlying microbicide toxicity and efficacy, enabling a more rational selection of drug and formulation candidates. This review presents an overview of the models and endpoints used to comprehensively evaluate an anti-HIV microbicide in preclinical development. This article forms part of a special supplement on presentations covering HIV transmission and microbicides, based on the symposium "Trends in Microbicide Formulations", held on 25 and 26 January 2010, Arlington, VA.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.