Pharmaceutical International News - June 2012
Quad Pill HIV Combo Drug Impresses in Study
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 29/06/2012 - 05:15:00
A blend of four HIV treatments in a single drug is both effective and safe, say US researchers.
Designed to be taken daily, the Quad pill is intended to ensure HIV patients don't miss a dose and, in the Lancet medical journal, the combo pill is described as, potentially, ‘an important new treatment option.'
HIV cannot be cured but there are drugs available that can make it more manageable. Combination therapy is the most effective approach to HIV treatment but, typically, that involves having to remember to take a number of separate drugs, spread throughout the day.
The Quad pill isn't the first ever combination HIV drug treatment but never before has the mix included an integrase inhibitor - a drug designed to stop HIV reproducing in the body.
"Patient adherence to medication is vital, especially for patients with HIV, where missed doses can quickly lead to the virus becoming resistant to medication", Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital's clinical director, Paul Sax, explained in a statement.
Sax spearheaded a study that compared the Quad pill to other HIV drug treatments. 700 patients were involved in this study and, although some kidney issues were reported, overall, the new HIV combo drug outperformed its rivals.
"Our results provide an additional highly potent, well-tolerated treatment option and highlight the simplicity of treatment resulting from combining several antiretrovirals in a single pill", he added in further comments.
HIV Combo Drug
The Quad pill HIV combo drug now faces examination by drug regulatory bodies and, potentially, would be a trailblazing new addition to the HIV drug treatment market. ‘If approved, it would provide an important new treatment option as the only once-daily, integrase-inhibitor-based, single-tablet regimen for initial treatment of patients with HIV', the Lancet report stated.
"Without a doubt the achievement of a one-a-day pill has been a big advance in tackling HIV. We've come a long way from people taking up to 40 pills three times a day", HIV specialist Doctor Steve Taylor said in comments quoted by the BBC.
HIV image copyright US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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