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Roche, Trimeris Announce Study Results Indicating Fuzeon, MK-0518 Combination Therapy Effective in Lowering HIV to Undetectable Levels
Roche and biopharmaceutical company Trimeris on Thursday announced that their antiretroviral drug Fuzeon -- known generically as enfuvirtide -- in combination with Merck's experimental drug MK-0518 in a recent study decreased HIV viral loads to undetectable levels in up to 95% of study participants, compared with up to 70% in participants who received only MK-0518, the AP/Forbes reports (AP/Forbes, 10/5). The results are from a 24-week, Phase II study of MK-0518 sponsored by Merck, Reuters reports. Fuzeon is in a class of drugs called fusion inhibitors and is designed for HIV/AIDS patients who have failed to respond to other medications. "[R]esponse rates" for the combination Fuzeon-MK-0518 treatment "have never been achieved in clinical trials of HIV patients living with drug-resistant virus," Roche said in a statement (Reuters, 10/5).
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