New drug adds to arsenal against AIDS

A new drug, rilpivirine, can add powerfully to the combination of medications used to control HIV for first-time patients, researchers conclude in Friday's issue of The Lancet.

Rilpivirine, marketed by pharmaceutical firm Tibotec under the brand name of Edurant, is both safe and effective and its side effects are fewer and less severe compared with the widely-used efavirenz, or Sustiva, they say.

Combination therapy for new commonly entails giving either efavirenz or nevirapine in conjunction with drugs of a separate class in order to attack the (HIV) from different angles.

Efavirenz and nevirapine are equally effective at suppressing HIV but can cause severe side effects, which is why there has been a search for a substitute drug in their class.

The two studies report on data from two trials carried out among nearly 1,400 patients in 21 countries.

Rilpivirine, a so-called second generation antiretroviral, was approved for combination therapy in May by the (FDA).

The study appears in the runup to a four-day medical conference, starting in Rome on Sunday, on the state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has claimed some 30 million lives since the first recorded cases emerged in June 1981. At least 33 million people are living with HIV, according to UN estimates for 2009.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US approves new HIV drug

May 21, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new drug, Edurant, to fight HIV in combination with other antiretrovirals already on the market.

Recommended for you

HIV testing yields diagnoses in Kenya but few seek care

Jan 29, 2015

Between December 2009 and February 2011, health workers with the AMPATH Consortium sought to test and counsel every adult resident in the Bunyala subcounty of Kenya for HIV. A study in the journal Lancet HIV reports that the campaign yielded more than 1,300 new positive diagnoses, but few of those new ...

The adaptability of pathogens

Jan 28, 2015

Drug-resistant HIV viruses can spread rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study conducted as part of the SWISS HIV Cohort Study, which is supported by the SNSF. Only the continuous introduction of new drugs can stop the ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.