Special Perspectives

Whither or Wither Microbicides?

Science  25 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5888, pp. 532-534
DOI: 10.1126/science.1160355

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After disappointing results from all efficacy trials conducted to date, the field of microbicides research now faces substantial challenges. Poor coordination among interested parties and the choice of nonvalidated scientific targets for phase III studies have hampered progress and created mistrust about the use of microbicides as a method to prevent HIV-1 sexual transmission. Although new promising strategies are available, there will need to be serious reappraisals of how decisions are made to advance the next generations of candidates into clinical trials, and the use of appropriate animal models in this process will be critical.

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