BioIVT, a leading provider of research models and services for drug and diagnostic development, today announced that researchers in its Transporter Sciences Group have co-authored a peer-reviewed DMD paper, which investigates the inhibitory effects of a class of HIV drugs known as integrase inhibitors on folate transporter pathways.1 Previously published studies had appeared to show a correlation between exposure to dolutegravir, and other HIV integrase inhibitor drugs, at conception and an increased risk of neural-tube defects (NTDs). NTDs are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord that cause conditions such as spina bifida in infants.2 NTDs can be caused by several factors, including inhibition of folate transporters in the gut, brain, and placenta.
This new research, which results from a collaboration between BioIVT and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and is based on studies conducted in BioIVT’s laboratory in Santa Clara, CA, set out to investigate whether HIV integrase inhibitor drugs also inhibit folate transporters, leading to drug-induced folate deficiency and an increased likelihood of NTDs.
“We were pleased to collaborate with our colleagues at GSK on this important research, using BioIVT’s technology platform and our combined scientific knowledge and thinking. Through timely and effective communication, we were able to develop new assays quickly and generate high quality data,” said Dr. Xuexiang Zhang, BioIVT’s lead investigator on the study. “We hope that our investigation into the pharmacology of dolutegravir will help physicians to develop optimal recommendations for their patients.”