August 16, 2011
Gilead Sciences Inc. on Monday reported positive results from a study of its "Quad," which combines four HIV drugs into one tablet. Quad worked at least as well as Atripla, Gilead's three-in-one pill, after 48 weeks of the 96-week trial, the company said. Eighty-eight percent of the Quad patients achieved the targeted viral load reduction, compared to 84 percent of the Atripla group. Reports of side effects and discontinuation were similar in both groups. Quad combines emtricitabine and tenofovir -- the active ingredients in Gilead's Truvada, which also are contained in Atripla -- with elvitegravir and cobicistat, which have yet to be approved. Elvitegravir is intended to stop HIV from integrating with human cells' genetic material, while cobicistat is meant to boost the other drugs' effectiveness.
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