Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have Developed a Vaginal Ring Capable of Providing Sustained Delivery of OB-002 (5P12-RANTES) for HIV Prevention

OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd., a developer of novel medical treatments, today announced that researchers at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, have published an article in the Journal of Controlled Release describing a new intravaginal ring (IVR) design offering sustained delivery of the antiretroviral protein OB-002 (also known as 5P12-RANTES). In a sheep pharmacokinetic model, the concentrations of OB-002 released from the IVR into the vaginal compartment were at least 50 and up to 50,000 times the reported in vitro IC50 value for HIV infection. The IVR is manufactured from silicone elastomer using simple and scalable injection moulding technology, and the process can be easily modified to allow coformulation of multiple drug substances. This could facilitate the development of a combination IVR with both contraceptive and anti-HIV activity.

“Development of an OB-002 IVR that can deliver protective concentrations of OB-002 to the vaginal mucosa is an important first step in providing new options for women who want to protect themselves from HIV infection,” said Dr. Ian McGowan, Chief Scientific Officer for Orion Biotechnology.

Professor Karl Malcolm, who lead the team at Queen’s University Belfast, added, “We are delighted by these preliminary data. This new ring design – which was designed from the outset for ease and scalability of manufacture – offers the ability to combine multiple drug actives. Combinations of antiretrovirals are an obvious option. But, perhaps even more exciting is the possibility of combining OB-002 with a contraceptive drug to provide women with a multipurpose prevention technology IVR.”

“Our OB-002 gel will be entering Phase 1 clinical evaluation in Q3 2019 and so it is very exciting that a second potential formulation platform is already available for later stage development. Orion Biotechnology is committed to providing women with options for HIV prevention and we look forward to exploring ways in which an OB-002 IVR could move into the clinic,” added Mark Groper, CEO at Orion Biotechnology.

Research details:

Title: “Vaginal rings with exposed cores for sustained delivery of the HIV CCR5 inhibitor 5P12-RANTES”

Authors: John W. McBride, Peter Boyd, Nicola Dias, David Cameron, Robin E. Offord, Oliver Hartley, Vicky L. Ketta, and R. Karl Malcolm


DOI Number:

Cite the article: McBride, J.W., Boyd, P., Dias, N., Cameron, D., Offord, R.E., Hartley, O., Kett, V.L., Malcolm, R.K., 2019. Vaginal rings with exposed cores for sustained delivery of the HIV CCR5 inhibitor 5P12-RANTES. J. Control. Release 298, 1–11.

About Orion Biotechnology Canada, Ltd.

Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd, is a privately held pharmaceutical company founded on the vision of radically improving the health of the global population through successful treatment and prevention of the most serious chronic illnesses and life-threatening diseases. Since 2011, Orion has been developing a robust pipeline of potential products based on novel formulations discovered in different parts of the world. Our close ties to diverse institutions and experts around the globe continue to stimulate the rapid discovery of promising new treatments. With operations in North America, Europe and Asia, Orion brings together innovative technologies from some of the world’s leading research institutions, such as the Mintaka Research Foundation and the Center for Public Health Research at Nanjing University. Learn more at

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Contact: Ross MacLeod
Orion Biotechnology
Canada Ltd
Phone: +1.343.291.1032