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Metformin Immunotherapy in HIV Infection

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02659306
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified March 2018 by Jean-Pierre Routy, McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
First Posted : January 20, 2016
Last Update Posted : March 22, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jean-Pierre Routy, McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Brief Summary:

Anti-HIV drugs cut down the number of serious infections that people with HIV get. However, some subjects taking anti-HIV drugs do not achieve adequate cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) recovery and decrease in elevated cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8) cells. Such patients with a low CD4/CD8 ratio remain at risk for developing acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and non-AIDS-related complications. Two of the most important factors associated with low CD4/CD8 ratio include: the persistence of HIV on ART and inflammation.

Metformin, the most widely used medication to treat type 2 diabetes, is well tolerated with minimal side effects. It has been linked to anti-aging and weight reducing properties in non-diabetic persons. Because of its ability to improve immune functions, metformin could be a promising addition to ART in HIV patients. It is also reported to change the composition of microbes in the gut which may improve inflammation.


The purposes of this study are to find out if:

  1. metformin can be combined with anti-HIV drugs to reduce the amount of hidden virus in the body;
  2. metformin can be combined with anti-HIV drugs to improve immune function.
  3. metformin can be combined with anti-HIV drugs to impact CD4 T cell count and CD4/CD8 T cell ratio during treatment and after its discontinuation
  4. metformin can change the composition of the bacteria in the gut which may improve inflammation.

For this purpose, the investigators will add metformin at the usual antidiabetic dose for 12 weeks for patients receiving stable ART, having a CD4/CD8 ratio below 0.7.

Approximately 22 participants will be enrolled in this study at the Chronic Viral Illness Service of the McGill University Health Centre, the Ottawa Hospital and the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic (Toronto). This study will last about 24 weeks; metformin treatment will be for 12 weeks. In order to be eligible for the study, the participants must be 18 years of age or older, have an undetectable viral load (the quantity of the HIV virus in the blood must be less than 50 copies/ml) for at least 3 months and have a CD4/CD8 ratio of less than 0.7. All participants will also be asked to give blood and stool samples and optional colon mucosal biopsy samples (before and after metformin supplementation) to study the size of the viral reservoir and the amount of T cell activation and changes in gut microbiota composition.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
HIV Infection Drug: Metformin Phase 1

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 22 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Metformin on HIV Reservoir Size in Non-diabetic Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Treated Participants: the Lilac Study
Study Start Date : September 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : August 2018
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2018

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: HIV/AIDS

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Metformin
Assessment will be done at the baseline, during and after 12 week of metformin use.
Drug: Metformin
Metformin hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline compound formulated as tablets for oral consumption; tablets contain 500 mg, 850 mg, or 1000 mg of metformin hydrochloride. Only 500 mg and 850 mg tablets will be used for this study.
Other Name: Glucophage

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Decrease in the size of the HIV reservoir [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in the percentage of activated CD8 T-cells [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. HIV-1 infected male or female adults greater than or equal to 18 years of age
  2. HIV-1 infected adults successfully treated with ART for at least 3 years (the time necessary to establish a stable reservoir)
  3. Individuals on a stable ART regimen for at least 3 months, with plasma viral load below the level of detection and with a CD4/CD8 ratio ≤ 0.7
  4. Non-diabetic (HbA1c < 5.9%) and pre-diabetic individuals (HbA1c between 6.0 and ≥ 6.4%), as defined by their glycosylated hemoglobin levels
  5. Able to understand and sign the informed consent form prior to screening

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Individuals with a known hypersensitivity/allergy to the metformin
  2. Individuals who are actively participating in an experimental therapy study or who have received experimental therapy within the last 6 months
  3. Individuals who are suffering from severe systemic diseases (uncontrolled hypertension, chronic renal failure), or active uncontrolled infections
  4. Individuals having diabetes mellitus (HbA1c ≥ 6.5 %) as defined by the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02659306

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Canada, Quebec
Chronic Viral Illness Service, McGill University Health Centre
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4A 3J1
Sponsors and Collaborators
McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
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Principal Investigator: Jean-Pierre Routy, MD; FRCPC McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Jean-Pierre Routy, Professor, McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02659306    
Other Study ID Numbers: CTNPT027
First Posted: January 20, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 22, 2018
Last Verified: March 2018
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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HIV Infections
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Communicable Diseases
Blood-Borne Infections
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases
Slow Virus Diseases
Hypoglycemic Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs