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Approved HIV Drugs

Phase 2 Trial Tests Intensified Antiretroviral Therapy plus Interleukin-7 for HIV Eradication

Biopharmaceutical company Cytheris announced this week that it has started a clinical trial to evaluate an intensive antiretroviral and immune-modulator regimen designed to reduce -- and ideally eliminate -- HIV in latently infected reservoir cells. Participants will intensify their current suppressive regimen by adding the 2 newest antiretroviral drug classes, along with interleukin 7 (IL-7) to activate resting CD4 T-cells.

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ViiV Healthcare Expands Patient Assistance Program

ViiV Healthcare announced last week that it will expand its Patient Assistance Program to help people with HIV afford their antiretroviral drugs, including raising the maximum household income level from 250% to 500% of the federal poverty level and including people in Puerto Rico. ViiV will continue its Patient Support Card for an additional 2 years, and has also joined the Welvista non-profit pharmacy program, adding 10 new medications that eligible low-income individuals on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists can access through a single point of contact.

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Rilpivirine Failure Linked to High Viral Load and Poor Adherence

High baseline viral load and less-than-optimal adherence help explain the higher rate of virological failure among people taking Tibotec's experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) rilpivirine (TMC278) in a pair of recent clinical trials, according to findings presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010) last week in Boston. Rilpivirine recipients were less likely than efavirenz recipients to stop treatment due to side effects, but more likely to develop drug-resistance mutations.

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GRACE Trial Finds Women Respond as Well as Men to HIV Treatment, but More Likely to Stop Therapy

HIV positive women and men taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) containing boosted darunavir (Prezista) had statistically similar treatment response rates, with the slightly poorer outcomes among women probably due to their higher likelihood of discontinuing therapy, according to a report of findings from the GRACE (Gender, Race And Clinical Experience) study published in the September 21, 2010 Annals of Internal Medicine. GRACE showed that it is possible to recruit and conduct a clinical trial with a large number of women, many of them socioeconomically disadvantaged, but the 33% dropout rate suggests additional efforts are needed to retain women in such studies.

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Unboosted Atazanavir Maintains Long-term HIV Suppression

HIV patients with suppressed viral load who switched from ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (Reyataz) to unboosted atazanavir in a combination antiretroviral regimen were able to maintain undetectable HIV RNA over 120 weeks with a low risk of viral rebound and fewer side effects, according to the latest findings from the ARIES trial presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010) last week in Boston.

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