Development of a Transdermal Delivery System for Tenofovir Alafenamide, a Prodrug of Tenofovir with Potent Antiviral Activity Against HIV and HBV

Pharmaceutics. 2019 Apr 9;11(4):173. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics11040173.


Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is an effective nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of HIV-1 and HBV. Currently, it is being investigated for HIV prophylaxis. Oral TAF regimens require daily intake, which hampers adherence and increases the possibility of viral resistance. Long-acting formulations would significantly reduce this problem. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a transdermal patch containing TAF and investigate its performance in vitro through human epidermis. Two types of TAF patches were manufactured. Transparent patches were prepared using acrylate adhesive (DURO-TAK 87-2516), and suspension patches were prepared using silicone (BIO-PSA 7-4301) and polyisobutylene (DURO-TAK 87-6908) adhesives. In vitro permeation studies were performed while using vertical Franz diffusion cells for seven days. An optimized silicone-based patch was characterized for its adhesive properties and tested for skin irritation. The acrylate-based patches, comprising 2% w/w TAF and a combination of chemical enhancers, showed a maximum flux of 0.60 ± 0.09 µg/cm²/h. However, the silicone-based patch comprising of 15% w/w TAF showed the highest permeation (7.24 ± 0.47 μg/cm²/h). This study demonstrates the feasibility of developing silicone-based transdermal patches that can deliver a therapeutically relevant dose of TAF for the control of HIV and HBV infections.

Keywords: acrylate adhesive; in vitro permeation; silicone adhesive; suspension patch; tenofovir alafenamide; transdermal patch.