Boosted Invirase Has Similar Efficacy To Boosted Lopinavir In HIV Patients

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HIV patients treated with the protease inhibitor Invirase 500 (saquinavir mesylate boosted with ritonavir) achieved similar efficacy, in terms of viral suppression and increases in CD4 cells, to those treated with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), while being less likely to develop elevated lipid levels.

These results, from a planned 24-week interim analysis of all 337 patients enrolled in the Roche-sponsored Gemini study, were presented today at the 4th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Sydney, Australia.

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Current treatment guidelines for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) include a boosted protease inhibitor (PI) as an option for first-line treatment of HIV-infected patients. However, PI-based regimens can be associated with varying degrees of lipid abnormalities, potentially increasing the long-term risk of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. As people with HIV are living longer due to advances in treatment, it is especially important to establish regimens that minimize the adverse effects on lipids to potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

"The full interim results from the Gemini study further suggest that boosted Invirase may be a good choice for many patients, particularly those with increased cardiovascular risk," said Dr. Jihad Slim, Infectious Disease Specialist, St. Michael's Medical Centre and an investigator in the Gemini study. "We need to be able to offer safer options for patients on combination HIV therapy -- and establishing a PI-based regimen that is associated with fewer lipid abnormalities could have a real impact on HIV management."

Efficacy results showed that 69.9 percent and 69 percent of patients, respectively, treated with Invirase/ritonavir

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