Once-Weekly and Once-Monthly HIV Meds in the Pipeline: Studies From ICAAC 2012
September 17, 2012
Two new HIV drugs in development that show promise for less frequent dosing were previewed at ICAAC 2012 in San Francisco.
One of the drugs, a fusion inhibitor named albuvirtide, could make once-a-week HIV medication a reality. Results from two small Chinese studies demonstrated the general safety and effectiveness of albuvirtide.
The first study followed 54 HIV-infected, treatment-naive individuals in Beijing, all of whom had a viral load above 5,000 copies/mL and a CD4+ cell count above 250 cells/mm3. The group consisted of 39 men and 15 women with a median age of 37.5. Each participant was either treated with a single dose of albuvirtide or a placebo. Two participants discontinued treatment during the study.
The second study followed 12 HIV-infected, treatment-naive men who have sex with men. Half of the group (median age 35.5) was given multiple albuvirtide doses of 160 mg, while the other half (median age 26.5) received multiple doses of 320 mg. The doses were given on days 1, 2, 3, then 8 and 15.
Albuvirtide is administered intravenously, while the only approved fusion inhibitor, enfuvirtide (T-20, Fuzeon), is administered subcutaneously. And, unlike enfuvirtide, albuvirtide does not require twice-daily dosing.
While these early results indicate albuvirtide is well tolerated and can suppress HIV for up to 10 days, further research is needed in a larger study population with more long-term indications.
The second drug in development, an integrase inhibitor currently known as S/GSK1265744 (or simply "744"), was analyzed in two studies, and showed a potential to control HIV for up to one month with a single dose taken either orally or through long-acting parenteral injection.
The first study looked into the effectiveness of 744 and its potential interactions with raltegravir (Isentress) and elvitegravir (GS 9137, JTK-303).
The second study showed that S/GSK1265744 was well tolerated and could be taken with rilpivirine (Edurant) without negative interactions. Still, as with any drug in early-stage development, further research needs to be conducted to test the long-term efficacy and safety of 744 in larger study groups.
[Editors note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that enfuvirtide is administered intravenously, when in fact it is administered subcutaneously. The article has been corrected to reflect this.]
Warren Tong is the research editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.com. It is a part of the publication The 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2012).
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