Simon Benita

Leslie Rebibo, Marina Frušić-Zlotkin, Ron Ofri, Taher Nassar, and Simon Benita. 2022. “The dose-dependent effect of a stabilized cannabidiol nanoemulsion on ocular surface inflammation and intraocular pressure.” International journal of pharmaceutics, 617, Pp. 121627. Abstract
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid that has a great clinical therapeutic potential. Few studies have been published on its efficacy in ocular inflammations while its impact on intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for glaucoma, remains unclear. Moreover, due to its lability and high lipophilicity, its formulation within a prolonged stable topical ophthalmic solution or emulsion able to penetrate the highly selective corneal barrier is challenging. Therefore, various CBD nanoemulsions (NEs) were designed and evaluated for stability in accelerated conditions. Further, the optimal formulation was tested on a murine LPS-induced keratitis inflammation model. Lastly, increasing CBD concentrations were topically applied, for two weeks, on mice eyes, for IOP measurement. CBD NEs exhibited optimal physicochemical characteristics for ocular delivery. A specific antioxidant was required to obtain the stable, final, formulation. In vivo, 0.4 to 1.6% CBD w/v reduced the levels of key inflammatory cytokines, depending on the concentration applied. These concentrations decreased or did not affect the IOP. Our results showed that a well-designed CBD ocular dosage form can be stabilized for an extended shelf life. Furthermore, the significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines levels could be exploited, provided that an adequate therapeutic dosage regimen is identified in humans.
A. Badihi, M. Frušić-Zlotkin, Y. Soroka, S. Benhamron, T. Tzur, T. Nassar, and S. Benita. 2020. “Topical nano-encapsulated cyclosporine formulation for atopic dermatitis treatment: Topical cyclosporine NCs for AD.” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 24. Publisher's Version Abstract
Systemic cyclosporine A (CsA) therapy shows efficacy in the treatment of recalcitrant severe atopic dermatitis (AD) but elicits severe side-effects. Thus, a topical formulation of CsA nanocapsules (NCs), able to potentially bypass these drawbacks, was developed. CsA-NCs were shown to enhance drug penetration into the various layers of porcine ear skin. Furthermore, the encapsulated CsA was biologically active, as shown in vitro on mouse splenocytes, reflected by inhibition of both cell proliferation and of interleukin (IL)-2 secretion. Ex-vivo efficacy was demonstrated on human skin organ culture by markedly reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion. Finally, CsA-NCs topical formulation elicited improved efficacy in terms of better preservation of the skin barrier integrity, a decrease of the systemic pro-inflammation markers and reduced skin inflammation. The overall results suggest that this original topical platform may provide a novel therapeutic tool of clinical significance compared to the existing topical therapeutic drugs in AD. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
T. Nassar, A. Rohald, N. Naraykin, D. Barasch, O. Amsalem, P. Prabhu, M. Kotler, and S. Benita. 2019. “Nanocapsules embedded in microparticles for enhanced oral bioavailability and efficacy of Lopinavir as an anti-AIDS drug.” Journal of Drug Targeting, 27, 5-6, Pp. 590-600. Publisher's Version Abstract
Lopinavir (LPV), an efficient drug for HIV infection treatment, was incorporated into biodegradable PLGA nanocapsules (NCs) embedded in microparticles (MCPs) using the spray-drying technique in an attempt to bypass the P-gp efflux and protect the drug from CYP3A pre-systemic metabolism without ritonavir (RTV). SEM observations confirmed the formation of NCs and their entrapment in the MCPs. LPV-loaded NCs and free LPV were released from the MCPs at pH of 7.4 as evidenced by in vitro release studies. Results obtained from rat studies showed a two-fold higher bioavailability of LPV following oral administration of the optimal formulation than Kaletra®, the marketed drug, showing that when properly entrapped, LPV can be effectively protected from CYP degradation in the gut as well as from the liver following systemic absorption. It was also shown that serum derived from rats following LPV oral administration in two formulations and Kaletra® significantly decreased the multiplication of HIV-1 in cultured SupT1 cells. Furthermore, the LPV formulations markedly restricted the titre of infectious HIV-1 production compared with Kaletra® confirming the improved antiviral activity of LPV delivered in the rat blood circulation by the nanocapsules embedded in microparticle formulations. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.