Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) present serious reproductive health risks and management challenges, with poor control attributed to survival of treatment-resistant biofilm communities. Boric acid is used in various regimens for non-albicans VVC and recurrent BV. We investigated safety and efficacy of a novel boric acid-based vaginal anti-infective with enhanced antibiofilm activity (TOL-463) in treating BV and VVC.
Methods: In this phase 2 randomized, investigator-blinded trial conducted at 2 sexual health clinics, women with BV or VVC were randomly assigned (1:1) to 7 nights of TOL-463 vaginal gel or insert. The primary test of cure (TOC) was clinical cure at day 9-12; safety was assessed at TOC and day 21-30.
Results: One hundred six participants (53 with BV, 36 VVC, 17 both) were enrolled; most were African American (69%). Clinical cure rate of BV at TOC was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 41%-75%) for TOL-463 insert and 50% (95% CI, 31%-69%) for TOL-463 gel, and for VVC, 92% (95% CI, 67%-99%) for TOL-463 insert and 81% (95% CI, 57%-93%) for TOL-463 gel. Both products were safe and well tolerated with no secondary cases of VVC; vulvovaginal burning was the most common adverse event (9.6%).
Conclusions: TOL-463, especially in vaginal insert form, is effective and safe in treating BV and VVC. Future studies should assess the potential role of TOL-463 as a biofilm disrupter in enhancing likelihood of cure relative to approved therapies, reducing recurrence rates, and combined with traditional antimicrobials.
Clinical trials registration: NCT02866227.
Keywords: TOL-463; bacterial vaginosis; boric acid; vaginal biofilm; vulvovaginal candidiasis.
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