Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Gilead’s Truvada Better at Suppressing HIV Than GSK’s Combivir, Preliminary Data Show
Gilead Sciences' once-daily combination antiretroviral drug Truvada is more effective at suppressing HIV than GlaxoSmithKline's twice-daily antiretroviral Combivir, according to preliminary data from Gilead's Phase IV clinical trial presented on Thursday at the 10th European AIDS Conference in Dublin, Ireland, Reuters reports (Reuters, 11/17). Gilead released an analysis of data after 24 weeks of the trial, which included 411 HIV-positive patients who switched from Combivir, which combines GSK's Retrovir and Epivir, to Truvada, which combines Gilead's Emtriva and Viread. All patients had been taking Combivir for at least eight weeks prior to switching drugs. All of the patients also were taking Bristol Myers Squibb's Sustiva, known generically as efavirenz, before the switch and continued taking it after the switch (AP/Forbes, 11/17). About 59% of participants had HIV viral loads of less than 50 copies per milliliter before switching to Truvada, and 76% of patients had such suppressed viral loads 24 weeks after changing drugs, according to Gilead. All of the patients at the time the study began had viral loads below 400 copies per milliliter, and 94% retained that level after 24 weeks (Gilead release, 11/17). Jennifer Chao, a Deutsche Bank analyst, said in the report that the trial "could facilitate Truvada access to the lucrative but challenging Combivir patient market" (Reuters, 11/17).
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