Aids Focus

New Aids drug gets the nod

2012-06-29 22:22

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Paris - An experimental once-daily pill that combines four drugs to fight HIV is as safe and effective as commonly-prescribed treatments against the AIDS virus, researchers have reported in The Lancet.

Doctors tested the new drug, called Quad, for the third and final phase in which new pharmaceutical products are vetted for safety and effectiveness.

Publication in the British journal follows a recommendation in May by a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel to approve Quad for previously untreated adults infected with HIV-1.

A final decision is expected by August.

The first trial entailed testing Quad against a three-in-one pill, Atripla, which since 2006 has been a standard treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Researchers enrolled 700 patients in centres in North America and assigned them randomly to either Quad or Atripla.

After 48 weeks of treatment, 88% of Quad patients had suppressed viral loads to below detectable levels, against 84% in the Atripla group.

Side effects were infrequent but similar in both groups.

Among Quad patients, mild nausea was the more common adverse event, whereas with Atripla, symptoms were likelier to be dizziness, abnormal dreams or insomnia and skin rashes.

In the second trial, 708 patients were enrolled in Australia, Europe, North America and Europe.

Patients were either given Quad or a widely recommended therapy comprising the molecules atazanavir (ATV), boosted by ritonavir (RTV), together with emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or TDF.

Tablets

After 48 weeks, 90% of the Quad group had viral levels below detectable levels compared to 87% in the other drug group.

Only 3.7% of patients in the Quad group stopped treatment because of side effects, compared to 5.1% in the other group. On the other hand, the number who reported kidney complications in the Quad group was relatively higher.

Quad comprises FTC and TDF, along with a drug called elvitegravir (ETV), which is designed to inhibit HIV replication. The fourth ingredient is a "pharmaco-enhancer" called cobicistat to boost the effectiveness of ETV.

The movement towards a single once-daily pill to suppress HIV has a huge benefit for patients, say Aids researchers.

When the first antiretroviral drugs emerged in the 1990s, patients had to take a dozen tablets a day or more, a "pill burden" that meant many forgot to follow the entire treatment.

"Patient adherence to medication is vital, especially for patients with HIV, where missed doses can quickly lead to the virus becoming resistant," said Paul Sax of Harvard Medical School, who led the first study in Friday's Lancet.

"Our results provide an additional highly potent, well-tolerated treatment option and highlight the simplicity of treatment resulting from combining several antiretrovirals in single pill."





- AFP

Read more on:    us  |  france  |  health  |  hiv aids
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.