Lack of adherence is a key barrier to a successful human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment and prevention. We report on an ultra-long-acting (ULA) biodegradable polymeric solid implant (PSI) that can accommodate one or more antiretrovirals (e.g., dolutegravir (DTG) and rilpivirine (RPV)) at translatable human doses (65% wt.) in a single implant. PSIs are fabricated using a three-step process: (a) phase inversion of a drug/polymer solution to form an initial in-situ forming solid implant, (b) micronization of dried drug-loaded solid implants, and (c) compression of the micronized drug-loaded solid powder to generate the PSI. DTG and RPV can be pre-combined in a single PLGA-based solution to make dual-drug PSI; or formulated individually in PLGA-based solutions to generate separate micronized powders and form a bilayer dual-drug PSI. Results showed that in a single or bilayer dual-drug PSI, DTG and RPV exhibited physicochemical properties similar to their pure drug analogues. PSIs were well tolerated in vivo and effectively delivered drug(s) over 180 days with concentrations above 4× PA-IC90 after a single subcutaneous administration. While biodegradable and do not require removal, these PSIs can safely be removed to terminate the treatment if required. The versatility of this technology makes it attractive as an ULA drug delivery platform for HIV and various therapeutic applications.
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