Preclinical Clinical Evaluation of Candidate Microbicides

Dendrimer nanoparticles are being developed by Starpharma Pty Ltd to prevent the transmission of HIV, HSV and to treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis.

We have established a primary screen to identify microbicides that are active against HIV-1 and HSV. We have tested over 300 compounds for anti-HIV to date and we have established structure and function relationships for dendrimer-based microbicides against HIV and HSV.

We have in place in vitro assays to detect activity against various HIV clades, to predict antiviral efficacy in the human cervical vaginal secretions and in the presence of seminal plasma and to determine the mechanism of action of dendrimers.

In collaboration with Starpharma and Nucleus Network we have completed a phase I clinical trial with the candidate microbicide, VivaGel. This study showed that antiviral levels of VivaGel could be recovered in all participants at 3 h post-dose and in 50% of participants at 24 h post-dose. VivaGel is currently being evaluated by Starpharma as an antiviral condom-coating and for BV prophylaxis.


  • Jeremy Paull, Starpharma PTY LTD


NIH NIAID PAR-03-137 Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program For Topical Microbicides. Development of Dendrimer and Combination Microbicides Applicant Number: 1U19AI060598.

NHMRC Project Grant 1006477
Elucidating the mechanism of action of dendrimer nanoparticles against HIV.

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Gilda Tachedjian

Head of Life Sciences; Head of Tachedjian Laboratory (Retroviral Biology and Antivirals)