Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Gilead’s Truvada Slows HIV Progression Better Than GSK’s Combivir, Preliminary Data Show
Gilead Sciences' once-daily combination antiretroviral drug Truvada is more effective at slowing the progression of HIV than GlaxoSmithKline's twice-daily antiretroviral Combivir, according to preliminary data released on Thursday from Gilead's Phase III clinical trial, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The trial included 487 HIV-positive people who had never taken antiretrovirals. One group took Truvada -- a combination of Viread and Emtriva -- as well as Bristol Myers Squibb's Sustiva, generically known as efavirenz; a second group took Combivir -- which contains zidovudine and lamivudine -- and Sustiva (Ranii, Raleigh News & Observer, 8/27). Truvada succeeded in reducing HIV viral loads to fewer than 400 copies per milliliter of blood after 24 weeks in 88% of individuals on the drug, compared with 80% among the people who took Combivir (Associated Press, 8/26). The results were statistically significant, according to Gilead, Reuters reports (Reuters, 8/26). Three percent of the people who took Truvada discontinued the drug because of adverse reactions, compared with 9% of people who took Combivir. According to Eric Schmidt, an analyst at S.G. Cowen, the results of the trial were better than anticipated, the News & Observer reports. "We haven't seen the full data set," Mary Faye Dark, a spokesperson for GSK, said, adding that the study was "far from conclusive," according to the News & Observer (Raleigh News & Observer, 8/27).
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