Monday, August 21st (post-conference report)
Is Kaletra Monotherapy Possible?
Ten years after combination HIV treatment was heralded as the one and only way to treat HIV, data are emerging to suggest that monotherapy – the use of just one HIV drug – may, in fact, be a possibility. The results of three Kaletra® (lopinavir plus ritonavir) studies reported last Thursday at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto will undoubtedly spark a lot of interest in this unorthodox treatment approach.
Friday, August 18th
Sustiva vs. Kaletra? We Have a Likely Winner
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) currently recommends either Sustiva® (efavirenz) or Kaletra® (lopinavir plus ritonavir) – in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) – for HIV-positive people starting treatment for the first time. But a central question has been lingering for several years: which of these medications is the most effective? Long-awaited study results, reported yesterday at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto, may help settle this question once and for all.
Thursday, August 17th
Lexiva Measures Up to Kaletra
Final data from a 48-week study comparing Norvir® (ritonavir)-boosted Lexiva® (fosamprenavir) to Kaletra® (ritonavir-boosted lopinavir) reported today at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto indicate that these two protease inhibitor (PI) options have comparable safety and effectiveness. The results, which were also published in the August 5th issue of The Lancet, suggest that Norvir-boosted Lexiva may soon share the stage with Kaletra as a "preferred" PI option for HIV-positive people starting treatment for the first time.
Data, Access for Integrase Inhibitor
Preliminary results from an ongoing clinical trial of MK-0518, Merck's experimental integrase inhibitor, suggest that it has comparable anti-HIV activity to Sustiva® (efavirenz) after 24 weeks of treatment. The new data were reported today at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto by Martin Markowitz, MD, of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, and were accompanied by an announcement from Merck that an expanded access program for the drug will be started within the next few months.
Maraviroc Less Effective but Safe for Some
Results from a clinical trial presented at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) indicate that maraviroc, Pfizer's experimental entry inhibitor, may be of limited benefit in HIV-positive people with a specific form of HIV. Data from this study will likely underscore the need for a specific blood test, called a tropism assay, before treatment with maraviroc – and likely Schering-Plough's entry inhibitor vicriviroc – is used by people with HIV if it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Vicriviroc Shows Promise
The AIDS Clinical Trials Group has reported results from a clinical trial of vicriviroc, an experimental entry inhibitor being developed by Schering-Plough. Results from the study were reported today at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto.
Encouraging TNX-355 Data
Forty-eight week results from a phase II clinical trial of TNX-355, an HIV-entry inhibitor, were reported today at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. While the study found that the two doses of TNX-355 explored in the study were associated with greater reductions in viral load compared to placebo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested additional dosing studies before the drug is moved into late-stage development.
Growth Hormone for Lipo
Following on the heels of a published clinical trial showing that recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) treatment is associated with reductions in unhealthy fat seen in HIV-positive people with lipodystrophy, encouraging results from a second study were reported today at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto. The new data suggest that an initial 12-week induction course of rhGH, followed by lower-dose maintenance therapy, results in notable drops in visceral fat.
Wednesday, August 16th
Challenges of Reaching Countries in Need
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one million people in sub-Saharan Africa are currently receiving HIV treatment. This, WHO HIV/AIDS Director Kevin De Cock, MD, reported this morning at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto, is a tenfold increase in treatment access in the region since December 2003.
Meds Improve Growth and Body Composition
New data reported at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto indicates that HIV treatment dramatically improves growth and body composition in HIV-positive children. In fact, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group study concludes that HIV-positive children starting or switching HIV treatment actually have higher gains in weight, height, and lean body mass than HIV-uninfected children.
Nutritional Boost CD4 Counts
Longtime nutrition advocate Jon Kaiser, MD, and his colleagues presented data at the XVI International AIDS Conference regarding the effects of micronutrient supplementation on CD4 cell counts (T cell counts). The encouraging results come from a small randomized, placebo-controlled study that should pave the way for even more rigorous supplementation research in clinical trials.
Tuesday, August 15th
48-Week Prezista POWER Results Presented
Additional results from two ongoing clinical trials of Prezista™ (darunavir), Tibotec's protease inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June, suggest that the drug offers prolonged treatment effects for HIV-positive people with limited treatment options. The new data, reflecting 48 weeks of follow up from the clinical trials, were reported today at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto.
Encouraging Data on Etravirine (TMC-125)
Researchers at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto have reported 48-week results from a phase II clinical trial of etravirine (TMC-125), Tibotec's experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). The new data, reviewed by Cal Cohen, MD, of the Community Research Initiative of New England in Boston at a poster session on Tuesday, indicate that etravirine may offer long-term effectiveness to patients who have tried and failed other HIV treatments, including currently approved NNRTIs.
Monday, August 14th
Serostim As Immune-Based Therapy?
Recombinant human growth hormone (Serostim®), best known as an approved anti-wasting treatment and an experimental anti-lipodystrophy agent, has entered an unexpected area of HIV treatment research: immune-based therapies. New data, reported today at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto, suggest Serostim may have a lot to offer in this regard.
Four Drugs Vs. Three
Is a four-drug regimen any more effective than the current three-drug standard? Not according to a recent study reviewed at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto.