Purpose: Topical biphasic vesicle delivery system encapsulating interferon alpha (IFN α) was developed as an alternative to injections used to treat human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Methods: Biphasic lipid vesicles encapsulating increasing doses of IFN α (biphasic IFN α) were characterized for encapsulation efficiency, size, zeta potential and vesicle structure by centrifugation, dynamic light scattering, confocal microscopy and small-angle x-ray scattering. Biphasic IFNα delivery into human skin in vivo and topical efficacy in patients with genital warts were evaluated. Results: Average encapsulation efficiency of IFN α was 81-91%. The average particle size was 1000-1100 nm and zeta potential +70 to +78 mV. After application of 5, 15 and 40MU/g biphasic IFN α formulation in a topical patch on the upper inner arm in healthy volunteers, skin IFN α levels increased to 120±30, 380±60 and 400±80 IU/mg protein in skin homogenates (n=5, 5, and 7), respectively. Topical application of biphasic IFN α (1 MU/dose) twice daily for two weeks in a pilot study with 12 patients with external condylomata acuminata resulted in a decrease in lesion size, in 2,5-oligoadenylate synthetase activity and in tissue viral load. Conclusions: Biphasic vesicles delivered clinically significant levels of IFN α across intact human skin and elicited marked therapeutic effect in patients.
Keywords: Topical delivery, protein delivery, biphasic vesicles, interferon alpha, genital warts, HPV, Papillomavirus, IFN, zeta potential, confocal microscopy
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