(Mirror Daily, United States) – Even though the cure is yet to be discovered, the traditional treatments currently available for HIV-positive patients come in wide range with various degrees of adverse effects.
In an attempt to reduce the risks that come with these multi-drug regimens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized a new all-in-one HIV pill, aimed especially at patients over the age 12 who weigh at least 77 pounds and haven’t undergone previously HIV treatment.
The pill – called Genvoya – is a cocktail of several doses, including emtricitabine, cobicistat, elvitegravir, and the recently-discovered version of the drug tenofovir alafenamide. Genvoya doesn’t only reduce side effects, but it is also a lot easier the kidneys and bones; the drug is associated with lover levels of toxicity and a smaller toll on bone density.
Even though these improvements were also noted in some of the other drugs containing tenofovir, researchers advise against administering Genvoya to patients who already suffer from significant kidney complications.
Dr. David Wohl, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, explained in a press release how researchers need to focus on developing potential treatments in accordance with the aging of the HIV patient population.
Thus, the regimens need to address the problem of “treatment-related comorbidities, including low bone mineral density and renal impairment.” He added that the natural aging process combined with HIV infection and antiretroviral treatments sometimes leads to even more complications instead of improving quality of life.
Genvoya was developed by Gilead Sciences, a California-based biotechnology company that
“discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics.” For the study, the researchers conducted four clinical trials on roughly 3,100 participants, some of whom were randomly assigned to receive the new all-in-one pill, and others were put on a different HIV treatment.
Patients from 21 countries were included in the testing, with a variety of health scenarios: treatment-naïve participants, renally impaired, virologically suppressed, and adolescent patients. The trials showed that Genvoya did not just lower viral loads in patients, but also didn’t damage the kidneys and the bones as much as other drugs, such as Stribild.
Dr. Edward Cox, head of the Office of Antimicrobial Products at the FDA, said today, November 7, that the approval gives HIV-1 infection patients another – and more effective – regimen option in the form of a fixed dose that is to be administered once daily.
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