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1.  48-Week Efficacy and Safety of Dolutegravir Relative to Commonly Used Third Agents in Treatment-Naive HIV-1–Infected Patients: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e105653.
A network meta-analysis can provide estimates of relative efficacy for treatments not directly studied in head-to-head randomized controlled trials. We estimated the relative efficacy and safety of dolutegravir (DTG) versus third agents currently recommended by guidelines, including ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (ATV/r), ritonavir-boosted darunavir (DRV/r), efavirenz (EFV), cobicistat-boosted elvitegravir (EVG/c), ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r), raltegravir (RAL), and rilpivirine (RPV), in treatment-naive HIV-1–infected patients.
A systematic review of published literature was conducted to identify phase 3/4 randomized controlled clinical trials (up to August 2013) including at least one third agent of interest in combination with a backbone nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) regimen. Bayesian fixed-effect network meta-analysis models adjusting for the type of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbone (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine [TDF/FTC] or abacavir/lamivudine [ABC/3TC]) were used to evaluate week 48 efficacy (HIV-RNA suppression to <50 copies/mL and change in CD4+ cells/µL) and safety (lipid changes, adverse events, and discontinuations due to adverse events) of DTG relative to all other treatments. Sensitivity analyses assessing the impact of NRTI treatment adjustment and random-effects models were performed.
Thirty-one studies including 17,000 patients were combined in the analysis. Adjusting for the effect of NRTI backbone, treatment with DTG resulted in significantly higher odds of virologic suppression (HIV RNA<50 copies/mL) and increase in CD4+ cells/µL versus ATV/r, DRV/r, EFV, LPV/r, and RPV. Dolutegravir had better or equivalent changes in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, and lower odds of adverse events and discontinuation due to adverse events compared to all treatments. Random-effects and unadjusted models resulted in similar conclusions.
Three clinical trials of DTG have demonstrated comparable or superior efficacy and safety to DRV, RAL, and EFV in HIV-1–infected treatment-naive patients. This network meta-analysis suggests DTG is also favorable or comparable to other commonly used third agents (ATV/r, LPV/r, RPV, and EVG/c).
PMCID: PMC4154896  PMID: 25188312
2.  Simplification to Abacavir/Lamivudine + Atazanavir Maintains Viral Suppression and Improves Bone and Renal Biomarkers in ASSURE, a Randomized, Open Label, Non-Inferiority Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96187.
Simplification of antiretroviral therapy in patients with suppressed viremia may minimize long-term adverse effects. The study’s primary objective was to determine whether abacavir/lamivudine + atazanavir (ABC/3TC+ATV) was virologically non-inferior to tenofovir/emtricitabine + atazanavir/ritonavir (TDF/FTC+ATV/r) over 24 weeks in a population of virologically suppressed, HIV-1 infected patients.
This open-label, multicenter, non-inferiority study enrolled antiretroviral experienced, HIV-infected adults currently receiving a regimen of TDF/FTC+ATV/r for ≥6 months with no history of virologic failure and whose HIV-1 RNA had been ≤75 copies/mL on 2 consecutive measurements including screening. Patients were randomized 1∶2 to continue current treatment or simplify to ABC/3TC+ATV.
The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with HIV-RNA<50 copies/mL at Week 24 by the Time to Loss of Virologic Response (TLOVR) algorithm. Secondary endpoints included alternative measures of efficacy, adverse events (AEs), and fasting lipids. Exploratory endpoints included inflammatory, coagulation, bone, and renal biomarkers.
After 24 weeks, ABC/3TC+ATV (n = 199) was non-inferior to TDF/FTC+ATV/r (n = 97) by both the primary analysis (87% in both groups) and all secondary efficacy analyses. Rates of grade 2–4 AEs were similar between the two groups (40% vs 37%, respectively), but an excess of hyperbilirubinemia made the rate of grade 3–4 laboratory abnormalities higher in the TDF/FTC+ATV/r group (30%) compared with the ABC/3TC+ATV group (13%). Lipid levels were stable except for HDL cholesterol, which increased significantly in the ABC/3TC+ATV group. Bone and renal biomarkers improved significantly between baseline and Week 24 in patients taking ABC/3TC+ATV, and the difference between groups was significant at Week 24. No significant changes occurred in any inflammatory or coagulation biomarker within or between treatment groups.
After 24 weeks, simplification to ABC/3TC+ATV from TDF/FTC+ATV/r maintained viral suppression was well-tolerated, and led to improvements in bone and renal biomarkers and HDL cholesterol.
Trial Registration NCT01102972
GlaxoSmithKline Clinical Study Register #113734
PMCID: PMC4019479  PMID: 24825167
3.  Peripheral and Central Fat Changes in Subjects Randomized to Abacavir-Lamivudine or Tenofovir-Emtricitabine With Atazanavir-Ritonavir or Efavirenz: ACTG Study A5224s 
A5224s compared fat changes with abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or TenofovirDF/Emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) with efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r). TDF/FTC- and ABC/3TC-regimens similarly increased limb and visceral fat. ATV/r led to greater gains in limb fat, and a trend towards greater gains in visceral fat than EFV.
Background. We compare the effect of 4 different antiretroviral regimens on limb and visceral fat.
Methods. A5224s was a substudy of A5202, a trial of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)–infected, treatment-naive subjects randomized to blinded abacavir-lamivudine (ABC-3TC) or tenofovir DF-emtricitabine (TDF-FTC) with open-label efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir-ritonavir (ATV-r). The primary endpoint was the presence of lipoatrophy (≥10% loss of limb fat) at week 96 by intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis. Secondary endpoints included changes in limb and visceral fat. Statistical tests included linear regression, binomial, two-sample t test, and Fisher's exact test.
Results. A5224s enrolled 269 subjects; 85% were male, and 47% were white non-Hispanic. The subjects had a median baseline HIV-1 RNA level of 4.6 log10 copies/mL, a median age of 38 years, a median CD4+ cell count of 233 cells/μL, median limb fat of 7.4 kg, median visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of 84.1 cm2, and VAT: total adipose tissue (TAT) ratio of 0.31. At week 96, estimated prevalence of lipoatrophy (upper 95% confidence interval [CI]) was 18% (25%) for ABC-3TC and 15% (22%) for TDF-FTC (P = .70); this was not significantly less than the hypothesized 15% for both (P ≥ .55 for both). The secondary as-treated (AT) analysis showed similar results. At week 96, the estimated mean percentage change from baseline in VAT was higher for the ATV-r group than for the EFV group (26.6% vs 12.4%; P = .090 in ITT analysis and 30.0% vs 14.5%; P = .10 in AT analysis); however, the percentage change in VAT:TAT was similar by ITT and AT analysis (P ≥ .60 for both). Results were similar for absolute changes in VAT and VAT:TAT.
Conclusions. ABC-3TC– and TDF-FTC–based regimens increased limb and visceral fat at week 96, with a similar prevalence of lipoatrophy. Compared to the EFV group, subjects assigned to ATV-r had a trend towards higher mean percentage increase in VAT.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00118898.
PMCID: PMC3165963  PMID: 21690627
4.  Ritonavir-Boosted Darunavir Is Rarely Associated with Nephrolithiasis Compared with Ritonavir-Boosted Atazanavir in HIV-Infected Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77268.
Although ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (ATV/r) is known to be associated with nephrolithiasis, little is known about the incidence of nephrolithiasis in patients treated with ritonavir-boosted Darunavir (DRV/r), the other preferred protease inhibitor.
In a single-center cohort, the incidence of nephrolithiasis was compared between HIV-infected patients who commenced DRV/r-containing antiretroviral therapy and those on ATV/r. The effects of ATV/r use over DRV/r were estimated by univariate and multivariate Cox hazards models.
Renal stones were diagnosed in only one patient (0.86 per 1000 person-years) of the DRV/r group (n=540) and 37 (20.2 per 1000 person-years) of the ATV/r group (n=517). The median [interquartile (IQR)] observation period in the DRV/r group was 27.1 months (IQR 18.1-38.4 months), and 40.6 months (IQR 17.5-42.7) for the ATV/r group. The total observation period was 1,163.6 person-years and 1,829.6 person-years for the DRV/r group and for the ATV/r group, respectively. In the 37 patients on ATV/r who developed nephrolithiasis, the median time from commencement of ATV/r to diagnosis was 28.1 months (IQR 18.4–42.7), whereas nephrolithiasis in the single patient of the DRV/r group occurred 11.2 month after the introduction of DRV/r. ATV/r use over DRV/r was significantly associated with nephrolithiasis by uni- and multivariate analyses (HR=26.01; 95% CI, 3.541–191.0; p=0.001) (adjusted HR=21.47; 95% CI, 2.879–160.2; p=0.003).
The incidence of nephrolithiasis was substantially lower in patients on DRV/r than those on ATV/r. The results suggest that DRV/r should be selected for treatment of HIV-infected patients at risk of chronic kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC3795077  PMID: 24130871
5.  Effects of Switching from Lopinavir/ritonavir to Atazanavir/ritonavir on Muscle Glucose Uptake and Visceral Fat in HIV Infected Patients 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(11):1349-1357.
To determine the effects of switching from lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) to atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) on muscle glucose uptake, glucose homeostasis, lipids, and body composition.
Fifteen HIV-infected men and women on a regimen containing LPV/r and with evidence of hyperinsulinemia and/or dyslipidemia were randomized to continue LPV/r or to switch to ATV/r (ATV 300mg and ritonavir 100mg daily) for six months. The primary endpoint was change in thigh muscle glucose uptake as measured by positron emission tomography (PET). Secondary endpoints included abdominal visceral adipose tissue, fasting lipids and safety parameters. The difference over time between treatment groups (treatment effect of ATV/r relative to LPV/r) was determined by repeated measures ANCOVA.
After six months, anterior thigh muscle glucose uptake increased significantly (treatment effect +18.2 ± 5.9 μmol/kg/min, ATV/r vs. LPV/r, p=0.035), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) area decreased significantly in subjects who switched to ATV/r (treatment effect -31 ± 11cm2, ATV/r vs. LPV/r, p=0.047). Switching to ATV/r significantly decreased triglyceride (treatment effect -182 ± 64 mg/dL, ATV/r vs. LPV/r, p=0.02) and total cholesterol (treatment effect -23 ± 8 mg/dL, ATV/r vs. LPV/r, p=0.01), whereas HDL and LDL did not change significantly. Fasting glucose also decreased significantly following switch to ATV/r (treatment effect -15 ± 4 mg/dL, ATV/r vs. LPV/r, p=0.002).
Switching from LPV/r to ATV/r significantly increases glucose uptake by muscle, decreases abdominal visceral adipose tissue, improves lipid parameters and decreases fasting glucose over 6 months.
PMCID: PMC2886977  PMID: 19474651
HIV; lipodystrophy; atazanavir; lopinavir; glucose; intra-abdominal fat; lipids
6.  Efficacy and Safety of Three Antiretroviral Regimens for Initial Treatment of HIV-1: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Diverse Multinational Settings 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(8):e1001290.
Thomas Campbell and colleagues report findings of a randomized trial conducted in multiple countries regarding the efficacy of antiretroviral regimens with simplified dosing.
Antiretroviral regimens with simplified dosing and better safety are needed to maximize the efficiency of antiretroviral delivery in resource-limited settings. We investigated the efficacy and safety of antiretroviral regimens with once-daily compared to twice-daily dosing in diverse areas of the world.
Methods and Findings
1,571 HIV-1-infected persons (47% women) from nine countries in four continents were assigned with equal probability to open-label antiretroviral therapy with efavirenz plus lamivudine-zidovudine (EFV+3TC-ZDV), atazanavir plus didanosine-EC plus emtricitabine (ATV+DDI+FTC), or efavirenz plus emtricitabine-tenofovir-disoproxil fumarate (DF) (EFV+FTC-TDF). ATV+DDI+FTC and EFV+FTC-TDF were hypothesized to be non-inferior to EFV+3TC-ZDV if the upper one-sided 95% confidence bound for the hazard ratio (HR) was ≤1.35 when 30% of participants had treatment failure.
An independent monitoring board recommended stopping study follow-up prior to accumulation of 472 treatment failures. Comparing EFV+FTC-TDF to EFV+3TC-ZDV, during a median 184 wk of follow-up there were 95 treatment failures (18%) among 526 participants versus 98 failures among 519 participants (19%; HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.72–1.27; p = 0.74). Safety endpoints occurred in 243 (46%) participants assigned to EFV+FTC-TDF versus 313 (60%) assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV (HR 0.64, CI 0.54–0.76; p<0.001) and there was a significant interaction between sex and regimen safety (HR 0.50, CI 0.39–0.64 for women; HR 0.79, CI 0.62–1.00 for men; p = 0.01). Comparing ATV+DDI+FTC to EFV+3TC-ZDV, during a median follow-up of 81 wk there were 108 failures (21%) among 526 participants assigned to ATV+DDI+FTC and 76 (15%) among 519 participants assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV (HR 1.51, CI 1.12–2.04; p = 0.007).
EFV+FTC-TDF had similar high efficacy compared to EFV+3TC-ZDV in this trial population, recruited in diverse multinational settings. Superior safety, especially in HIV-1-infected women, and once-daily dosing of EFV+FTC-TDF are advantageous for use of this regimen for initial treatment of HIV-1 infection in resource-limited countries. ATV+DDI+FTC had inferior efficacy and is not recommended as an initial antiretroviral regimen.
Trial Registration NCT00084136
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Despite the enormous gains in reducing HIV-related illness and death over the past decade, there are still considerable challenges to meeting the global goal of universal access to highly active antiretroviral treatment—a combination of effective drugs that attack the HIV virus in various ways—to everyone living with HIV/AIDS who could benefit from treatment. In recognition of the related financial, technical, and system obstacles to providing universal access to HIV treatment, in 2010 the UN agency responsible for HIV/AIDS—UNAIDS—launched an ambitious plan called Treatment 2.0, which aims to simplify the way HIV treatment is currently provided. One of the main focuses of Treatment 2.0 is to simplify drug regimes for the treatment of HIV and to make treatment regimes less toxic. In line with Treatment 2.0, the World Health Organization currently recommends that antiretroviral regimens for the initial treatment of HIV should include two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (zidovudine or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [DF] with lamivudine or emtricitabine) and a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (efavirenz or nevirapine.)
Why Was This Study Done?
Most of the evidence about the safety and effectiveness of clinical trials come from clinical trials in high-income countries and thus is not generally representative of the majority of people with HIV. So in this study, the researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in diverse populations in many different settings to investigate whether antiretroviral regimens administered once daily were as effective as twice-daily regimens and also whether a regimen containing the drug atazanavir administered once daily was as safe and effective as a regimen containing efavirenz—data from previous studies have suggested that atazanavir has characteristics, such as its side effect profile, which may make it more suitable for low income settings.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited eligible patients from centers in Brazil, Haiti, India, Malawi, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, the United States, and Zimbabwe—almost half (47%) were women. Then the researchers randomly assigned participants to one of three regimens: efavirenz 600 mg daily plus co-formulated lamivudine-zidovudine 150 mg/300 mg twice daily (EFV+3TC-ZDV); or atazanavir 400 mg once daily, plus didanosine-EC 400 mg once daily, plus emtricitabine 200 mg once daily (ATV+DDI+FTC); or efavirenz 600 mg once daily plus coformulated emtricitabine-tenofovir-DF 200 mg/300 mg once daily (EFV+FTC-TDF). During the study period ATV+DDI+FTC was found to be inferior to EFV+3TC-ZDV, so the Multinational Data Safety Monitoring Board ordered this arm of the trial to stop. Then a year later, due to the low number of treatment failures (deaths, severe HIV disease, or serious opportunistic infections) in the remaining two arms, the board advised the trial to stop early. So the researchers analyzed the data obtained up to this point and pooled the results from all of the centers.
The researchers found that during an average of 184 weeks of follow-up, there were 95 treatment failures (18%) among 526 participants taking EFV+FTC-TDF compared to 98 failures among 519 participants taking EFV+3TC-ZDV. During an average 81 weeks follow-up, there were 108 failures (21%) among 526 participants assigned to ATV+DDI+FTC and 76 (15%) among 519 participants assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV. As for safety, 243 (46%) participants assigned to EFV+FTC-TDF reached a safety endpoint (grade 3 disease, abnormal lab measurement, or the need to change drug) compared to 313 (60%) in the EFV+3TC-ZDV group. Importantly, the researchers found that there was greater risk of safety events for women assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV and also that the atazanavir-based regimen had a higher relative efficacy in women compared to men.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that in diverse populations, EFV+FTC-TDF is as effective as EFV+3TC-ZDV but importantly, the once-daily dosing of EFV+FTC-TDF makes this regimen useful for the initial treatment of HIV, especially in low-income countries. Therefore, as per the guidance in Treatment 2.0, EFV+FTC-TDF in a single combination tablet that can be taken once a day is an attractive option. These findings also indicate that as ATV+DDI+FTC was found to be inferior to the other regimens, this combination should not be used in the initial treatment of HIV. These findings also add to the evidence that antiretroviral efficacy and safety can differ between women and men and support further development of sex-specific recommendations for antiretroviral regimen options.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The UNAIDS website has more information about Treatment 2.0; and the WHO website provides technical information
For an introduction to the treatment of HIV/AIDS see; the AVERT site also has personal stories from women living with HIV/AIDS
AIDSmap provides information for individuals and communities affected by HIV/AIDS
The ACTG website provides information about research to improve treatment of HIV and related complications
PMCID: PMC3419182  PMID: 22936892
7.  Effect of Rifampin on Steady-State Pharmacokinetics of Atazanavir with Ritonavir in Healthy Volunteers†  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2006;50(10):3336-3342.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a concern in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Rifampin (RIF), an agent used against M. tuberculosis, is contraindicated with most HIV protease inhibitors. Atazanavir (ATV) has clinical efficacy comparable to a standard of care regimen in naive patients and, when dosed with low-dose ritonavir (RTV), also in treatment-experienced patients. We evaluated here the safety and pharmacokinetics of ATV, resulting from three regimens of ATV, RTV, and RIF in 71 healthy subjects. The pharmacokinetics for ATV and RTV were assessed after 6 and 10 days of dosing with ATV 400 mg (n = 53) and with ATV-RTV at 300 and 100 mg (ATV/RTV 300/100; n = 52), respectively. Steady-state pharmacokinetics for ATV, RTV, RIF, and desacetyl-rifampin (des-RIF) were measured after 10 days of dosing of ATV/RTV/RIF 300/100/600 (n = 17), ATV/RTV/RIF 300/200/600 (n = 17), or ATV/RTV/RIF 400/200/600 (n = 14). An RIF 600-alone arm was enrolled as a control group (n = 18). With ATV/RTV/RIF 400/200/600, ATV area under the concentration-time curve values were comparable, but the Cmin values were lower relative to ATV 400 alone. ATV exposures were substantially reduced for the other RIF-containing regimens relative to ATV 400 alone and for all regimens relative to ATV/RTV 300/100 alone. RIF and des-RIF exposures were 1.6- to 2.5-fold higher than with RIF 600 alone. The incidence of grade 3/4 alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase values was limited to 1 subject each in both the ATV/RTV/RIF 300/200/600 and the ATV/RTV/RIF 400/200/600 treatments. Coadministration of ATV with RIF was safe and generally well tolerated. Since ATV exposures were reduced in all regimens, ATV and RIF should not be coadministered at the dosing regimens studied.
PMCID: PMC1610067  PMID: 17005814
8.  Safety profile of HIV-1 attachment inhibitor prodrug BMS-663068 in antiretroviral-experienced subjects: week 24 analysis 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19530.
BMS-663068 is a prodrug of BMS-626529, an attachment inhibitor that binds directly to HIV-1 gp120, preventing initial viral attachment and entry into the host CD4+ T-cell. AI438011 is an ongoing, Phase IIb, randomized, active-controlled trial investigating the safety, efficacy and dose–response of BMS-663068 vs. atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in treatment-experienced (TE), HIV-1-positive subjects. At Week 24, response rates across the BMS-663068 arms were consistent with ATV/r.
Materials and Methods
Antiretroviral TE subjects (exposure to ≥1 antiretroviral for ≥1 week) with susceptibility to all study drugs (including BMS-626529 IC50 100 nM) were randomized equally to four BMS-663068 arms (400 or 800 mg, BID; 600 or 1200 mg, QD) and a control arm (ATV/r 300/100 mg QD), with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) + raltegravir (RAL). The complete safety profile through Week 24 is reported.
In total, 251 subjects were treated (BMS-663068, 200; ATV/r, 51). No BMS-663068-related adverse events (AEs) led to discontinuation. Grade 2–4 drug-related AEs occurred in 17/200 (8.5%) subjects across the BMS-633068 arms; however, these events were mostly single instances and no dose-relationship was seen. Similarly, no noticeable trend for Grade 3–4 laboratory abnormalities was seen and Grade 3–4 hematologic changes and liver chemistry elevations were uncommon (neutropenia, 2.5%; AST/ALT elevations, 1% (n=196)). In the ATV/r arm, Grade 2–4 drug-related AEs occurred in 14/51 (27.5%) subjects and were mostly secondary to gastrointestinal and/or hepatobiliary disorders. Serious adverse events (SAEs) occurred in 13/200 (6.5%) and 5/51 (9.8%) subjects receiving BMS-663068 and ATV/r, respectively; most were secondary to infections and none were related to study drugs. The most common AE reported for BMS-663068 was headache (28/200, 14%), occurring in 5/51 (10%) subjects in the ATV/r arm; in the BMS-663068 arms, this was not dose-related. There were no deaths.
BMS-663068 was generally well tolerated across all arms, with no related SAEs or AEs leading to discontinuation and no dose-related safety signals. There were no trends for Grade 2–4 AEs or clinical laboratory abnormalities. These results support continued development of BMS-663068.
Previously submitted at IDWeek, Philadelphia, PA, 8 October 2014.
PMCID: PMC4224850  PMID: 25394039
9.  Switching from ritonavir to cobicistat in HIV patients with renal impairment who are virologically suppressed on a protease inhibitor 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19824.
Cobicistat (COBI) is a pharmacoenhancer and one of the components of ECF/TDF (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF), which is approved in treatment-naïve HIV patients with creatinine clearance (CrCl) ≥70 mL/min. Study 118 assessed the renal safety of COBI-containing regimens in HIV patients with mild to moderate renal impairment.
Material and Methods
Phase 3, open label study in HIV-1-infected patients with CrCl 50–89 mL/min who are virologically suppressed on a stable regimen containing ritonavir (RTV)-boosted atazanavir (ATV) or darunavir (DRV). Patients switched RTV to COBI, while keeping the rest of their regimen unchanged. We present the 96-week (Wk) data.
Seventy-three patients were enrolled. Mean age was 54 years; male 82%; white 77%; hypertension 38%; diabetes 18%; baseline proteinuria (≥trace) 51%; median CrCl 71 mL/min (range: 42–98). At Wk 96, 89% maintained virologic suppression (95% CI 77.4–95.8%). No emergent resistance developed. Reductions in CrCl (median [IQR]) were observed as early as Wk 2, after which they were nonprogressive through Wk 96 (Wk 48: −3.8 [−9–0.8]; Wk 96: −5.0 [−13.0–0.1]). Changes in CrCl by baseline CrCl (<70 vs ≥70) at Wk 96 were: −3.1 [−5.1–0.5] vs −7.6 [−15.2 to −3.6], respectively. Cystatin C-based eGFR remained stable through Wk 96 (median [IQR]: −2.8 [−7.4–8.9 mL/min/1.73 m2). Actual GFR assessment using CLiohexol (n=14) was unaffected over 24 Wks (median at baseline: 82.5, median changes from baseline at Wks 2, 4, and 24: 1.6, 7.0, −4.1 mL/min, respectively). Three renal discontinuations occurred (two worsening CrCl and one proteinuria/hematuria); none had proximal renal tubulopathy [PRT]. No patient had laboratory evidence of PRT (>1 confirmed renal laboratory abnormalities [increase in serum Cr≥0.4 mg/dL, ≥2-grade increase in proteinuria,≥1-grade increase in normoglycemic glycosuria or hypophosphatemia]).
In HIV-infected patients with CrCl 50–89 mL/min, on ATV- or DRV-based regimen switching to COBI from RTV, demonstrated that COBI was well tolerated with no cases of PRT through 96 Wks. The renal safety profile of COBI in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment was consistent with the long-term data in patients without renal impairment (CrCl≥70 mL/min) from the phase 3 studies of COBI-containing regimens.
PMCID: PMC4225380  PMID: 25397568
10.  HIV-1 attachment inhibitor prodrug BMS-663068 in antiretroviral-experienced subjects: week 24 sub-group analysis 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19529.
BMS-663068 is a prodrug of BMS-626529, an attachment inhibitor that binds directly to HIV-1 gp120, preventing initial viral attachment and entry into the host CD4+ T-cell. AI438011 is a Phase IIb, randomized, active-controlled trial investigating the safety, efficacy and dose–response of BMS-663068 versus atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in treatment-experienced (TE), HIV-1-positive subjects.
Materials and Methods
Antiretroviral TE subjects (exposure to ≥1 antiretroviral for ≥1 week) with susceptibility to all study drugs (BMS-626529 IC50 100 nM), were randomized equally to four BMS-663068 arms (400 or 800 mg, BID; 600 or 1200 mg, QD) and a control group (ATV/r 300/100 mg QD) with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) + raltegravir (RAL). A sub-group analysis of viral efficacy and immunologic reconstitution is presented.
A total of 251 subjects were treated. Median age was 39 years, 60% were male and 38% were white. Median baseline (BL) viral load (VL) was 4.85 log10 c/mL (43%; 100,000 c/mL) and median CD4+ T-cell count was 230 cells/mm3 (38%; 200 CD4 cells/mm3). Through Week 24, response rates (HIV-1 RNA 50 c/mL) were comparable across all BMS-663068 arms and the ATV/r arm regardless of gender, age and race. Response rates for subjects with BL VL 100,000 c/mL (BMS-663068, 82-96%; ATV/r, 93%) were higher than those for subjects with BL VL ≥100,000 c/mL (BMS-663068, 70-87%; ATV/r, 73%); however, there were no substantial differences in response across the BMS-663068 and ATV/r arms in either sub-group. Response rates for subjects with BL CD4+ cell counts ≥200 cells/mm3 (87-96%) were higher than those for subjects with BL CD4+ cell counts 200 cells/mm3 (62–82%); however, no substantial differences in response were seen across the BMS-663068 and ATV/r arms in either sub-group. Mean changes in CD4+ T-cell counts from BL were similar across all arms regardless of gender, age and BL CD4+ T-cell count.
Virologic response rates were similar across the BMS-663068 and ATV/r arms in TE subjects, regardless of BL demographic characteristics (gender, race, age), BL HIV-1 RNA, or BL CD4+ T-cell count. Mean increases in CD4+ T-cell counts across the BMS-663068 arms were consistent with ATV/r, regardless of gender, age and BL CD4+ T-cell count. These results support continued development of BMS-663068.
Previously submitted at IDWeek, Philadelphia, PA, 8 October 2014.
PMCID: PMC4224901  PMID: 25394038
11.  Simplification to Stribild vs continuation of RTV-boosted DRV with FTC and TDF in virologically suppressed HIV adults: a STRATEGY-PI subgroup analysis 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19805.
Simplification to Stribild (STB) was statistically superior to continuation of a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (PI+RTV) with emtricitabine and tenofovir DF (FTC/TDF) at week (W) 48 in virologically suppressed HIV adults (1). We report the W48 efficacy and safety of STB versus RTV-boosted darunavir (DRV) with FTC/TDF in suppressed subjects.
Material and Methods
Virologically suppressed subjects on PI+RTV with FTC/TDF regimens for ≥6 months were randomized (2:1) to switch to STB vs continue their PI regimen. Eligibility criteria included no documented resistance to FTC and TDF, no history of virologic failure and eGFR ≥70 mL/min. The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects in the modified ITT population who maintained HIV-1 RNA <50 copies(c)/mL at W48 by FDA snapshot algorithm (12% non-inferiority margin). Subgroup analysis by PI use (DRV [173], atazanavir [174], lopinavir [72], Other PI [13]) at screening was pre-specified.
Four hundred twenty-nine subjects were randomized and treated (mITT set). In the DRV subgroup, 113 switched to STB; 60 continued a RTV-boosted DRV with FTC/TDF. At W48, 95% STB versus 92% DRV maintained HIV-1 RNA <50 c/mL. No emergent resistance was detected in either group. Median increases from baseline in CD4 count at week 48 (cells/µL): 28 STB versus 29 DRV (p=0.81). Discontinuations due to adverse events were 3% STB versus 2% DRV; one case of isolated decrease in eGFR in the DRV group and no cases of proximal renal tubulopathy in either group. There were statistically significant decreases in the frequency of diarrhoea reported on the HIV Symptom Index at week 4 to week 48 compared to baseline after switching to STB. There was a greater but non-progressive decrease from baseline in eGFR in the STB vs DRV group; median changes (mL/min) at week 48: −8.5 vs −0.6, consistent with the known cobicistat inhibition of renal creatinine secretion. Switch to STB was associated with a higher treatment ease (convenience, flexibility, demand, lifestyle, understanding) score (range: −15 to 15) at week 4 (median: 12 vs 9; p=0.006) and week 24 (median: 13 vs 8; p=0.001).
In this small group of virologically suppressed subjects, simplification to STB versus continuation of a RTV-boosted DRV with FTC/TDF was safe, well-tolerated, and associated with a high rate of virologic suppression at week 48. There was more treatment ease with STB use.
PMCID: PMC4225406  PMID: 25397549
12.  HIV-Protease Inhibitors Suppress Skeletal Muscle Fatty Acid Oxidation by Reducing CD36 and CPT-I Fatty Acid Transporters 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2010;1801(5):559-566.
Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and treatment with HIV-protease inhibitor (PI)-based highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) is associated with dysregulated fatty acid and lipid metabolism. Enhanced lipolysis, increased circulating fatty acid levels, and hepatic and intramuscular lipid accumulation appear to contribute to insulin resistance in HIV-infected people treated with PI-based HAART. However, it is unclear whether currently prescribed HIV-PIs directly alter skeletal muscle fatty acid transport, oxidation, and storage. We find that ritonavir (r, 5 μmol/l) plus 20 μmol/l of atazanavir (ATV), lopinavir (LPV), or darunavir (DRV) reduce palmitate oxidation(16-21%) in differentiated C2C12 myotubes. Palmitate oxidation was increased following exposure to high fatty acid media but this effect was blunted when myotubes were pre-exposed to the HIV-PIs. However, LPV/r and DRV/r, but not ATV/r suppressed palmitate uptake into myotubes. We found no effect of the HIV-PIs on FATP1, FATP4, or FABPpm but both CD36/FAT and carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPTI) were reduced by all three regimens though ATV/r caused only a small decrease in CPT1, relative to LPV/r or DRV/r. In contrast, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 was increased by all 3 HIV-PIs. These findings suggest that HIV-PIs suppress fatty acid oxidation in murine skeletal muscle cells and that this may be related to decreases in cytosolic- and mitochondrial-associated fatty acid transporters. HIV-PIs may also directly impair fatty acid handling and partitioning in skeletal muscle, and this may contribute to the cluster of metabolic complications that occur in people living with HIV.
PMCID: PMC2838954  PMID: 20117238
HIV-PIs; fatty acid uptake; fatty acid oxidation; CD36, CPT1; metabolic dysregulation
13.  Simplification to atazanavir/ritonavir+lamivudine in virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients: 24-weeks interim analysis from ATLAS-M trial 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19808.
We report interim 24-weeks efficacy data of ATLAS-M trial, a phase IV, multicentre, open-label, randomized study designed to show 48-weeks, non-inferior efficacy (margin of −12%) of treatment simplification to atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r)+lamivudine (3TC) versus maintaining 3-drugs ATV/r-based cART.
Subjects on ATV/r+2 NRTIs, without previous treatment failure (TF), with HIV-RNA <50copies/mL for >3 months and CD4>200 cells/mm3 for >6 months were eligible. At baseline, patients were randomized to switch to ATV/r+3TC (arm one) or to maintain the original 3-drug regimen (arm two). Primary endpoint: proportion of patients free of TF at week 48. TF was defined as treatment modification for any reason, including virological failure (VF=two consecutive HIV-RNA>50 copies/mL or a single value >1000 copies/mL). Enrollment of 266 patients was planned.
A total of 266 patients (78% males, median age 44 years, median CD4 603 cells/µL, 79% treated with a tenofovir-containing backbone) were enrolled. At the time of analysis, 24 weeks data were available for 84 and 87 patients in arm one and two, respectively. At baseline, subjects in the two arms did not differ for the main characteristics. At 24 weeks, at the intention to treat analysis the proportion of patients free of TF was 91.7% (95% CI 85.8–97.6) and 85.1% (95% CI 77.6–92.6) in arm one and two, respectively (difference +6.6%, 95% CI −2.9/+16.1). VF was observed in two patients randomized to arm one (one at baseline, before treatment simplification) and one to arm two without resistance mutations. Clinical and laboratory adverse events occurred at similar rates in the two arms. At week 24, patients in arm one showed a greater increase in CD4 (mean change +90 vs +10 cells/µL, p=0.007). A greater increase in total cholesterol (+18 vs −2 mg/dL, p<0.001), HDL (+4 vs +0 mg/dL, p=0.001) and LDL (+12 vs +0 mg/dL, p=0.001) was also observed in arm one without differences in other lipid parameters. Renal function showed a significant improvement in arm one (mean change in eGFR +5 vs −2 mL/min/1.73m2 in arm two, p=0.001). No significant differences in bilirubin levels or other laboratory parameters were observed between the two arms.
This interim analysis suggests a 24-weeks non-inferior efficacy of treatment simplification to ATV/rit+3TC as compared to continuation of ATV/rit +2 NRTI in virologically suppressed patients. Follow-up until 48-weeks is scheduled to confirm these data.
PMCID: PMC4225257  PMID: 25397552
14.  Unboosted atazanavir with lamivudine/emtricitabine for patients with long-lasting virological suppression 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19811.
Unboosted atazanavir (ATV) including regimens have been investigated as a ritonavir-sparing simplification strategy. No data are available on removal of one NRTI in subjects effectively treated with unboosted atazanavir+2NRTIs. We present the 48-week virological efficacy and safety of unboosted atazanavir plus lamivudine (3TC) or emtricitabine (FTC) (lamivudine/emtricitabine/Reyataz©, LAREY Study).
Materials and Methods
Single arm, prospective, pilot study on HIV-treated patients, HBsAg negative, with HIV-RNA<50 cps/mL since at least 2 years, who switched from ATV+2NRTIs to ATV 400 mg QD +3TC or FTC. Virological failure was defined as 2 consecutive values of HIV-RNA>50 cps/ml; viral blip was defined as a single HIV-RNA value>50 cps/ml not subsequently confirmed. Results as median (IQR). Changes between baseline (BL) and week 48 assessed by the Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Forty patients enrolled: 75% males, 51 (47–54) years, 14% HCV co-infected, infected with HIV since 16 (9–21) years, on antiretroviral therapy since 13 (5–16) years, with a nadir CD4+ of 254 (157–307) cells/mm3, virologically suppressed since 4.2 (2.2–5.4) years; 53 patients switched from a tenofovir (TDF)-based regimens; ATV was associated with 3TC in 83% patients. No virological failures or discontinuations were observed; three patients had a single viral blip in the range 50–250 copies/mL; CD4+ increased from 610 (518–829) cells/mm3 at BL to 697 (579–858) cells/mm3 at week 48 [48-week change: 39 (−63/+160) cells/mm3 p=0.081]. Three clinical events were observed (one herpes zoster, one pneumonia, one syphilis) in absence of renal lithiasis, AIDS-defining or drug-related events or death. Overall, significant 48-week amelioration of ALP [BL: 83 (71–107) mg/dL; 48-week change: −15 (−27/−8) mg/dL p<0.0001] and CKD-EPI [BL: 100 (86–108) ml/min/1.73 m2; 48-week change: 1.5 (−3/+8) ml/min/1.73 m2, p=0.042] were observed. Patients switching from TDF (Table 1) significantly improved CD4+, lymphocytes, hepatic profile, renal profile and ALP; these patients had also a modest but significant decrease in haemoglobin.
Switch from an unboosted atazanavir-based regimen to ATV+3TC or FTC regimen was effective and safe in this small sample, supporting the hypothesis of a potential two-steps de-intensification (removal of ritonavir and removal of one NRTI) in patients on long-lasting virological suppression.
PMCID: PMC4225246  PMID: 25397555
15.  Bone mineral density improvement after 48 weeks of switch to maraviroc+darunavir/ritonavir 300/800/100 mg QD, preliminary results of GUSTA study 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19816.
Low bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis are prevalent in HIV-infected patients and were associated with HIV infection and tenofovir-containing ART.
Materials and Methods
The GUSTA study (GUided Simplification with Tropism Assay) is a two-arm, prospective, multicenter, 1:1 randomized controlled trial designed to demonstrate the non-inferiority of therapeutic switch to maraviroc+darunavir/ritonavir (MVC+DRV/r) 300/800/100 mg QD against the continuation of previous triple cART in patients with stable virological suppression. Enrolment criteria include HIV1-RNA <50 copies/mL for >6 months, R5 tropism and CD4>200 cells/µL for >3 months. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans of proximal femur and lumbar spine were performed at baseline and week 48. Bone composition was evaluated using L2-L4 lumbar column and proximal femoral BMD, T-score and the Z-score. At the same timepoints, plasma bone metabolism biomarkers were measured. Linear regression was used to compare means of differences between arms. The association between BMD changes and the baseline variables was assessed by linear regression.
27 patients were included, 13 from study group and 14 from control group, 74.1% were males, 44.4% heterosexuals, 81.5% Caucasian, median age was 47 years (IQR 41–53), time from HIV diagnosis 13.4 years (9–19), CD4 553/µL (406–739), nadir CD4 201/µL (76–283). At baseline, median ART duration was 10.5 years (5.7–15.3), the majority of patients (70.4%) was on tenofovir, 63% was on a PI-based regimen and 14,8% on an NNRTI-based regimen. Mean proximal femur BMD from baseline increased over 48 weeks by 2.06% (SD 2.24) in the study arm and decreased by −2.77% (SD 4.63) in control arm (p=0.003). The change over 48 weeks in proximal femur T-score was significantly different between the study (+0.11, SD 0.22) and control arm (−1.14, SD 0.27, p=0.016). Also the changes in total alkalin phosphatase (−20 U/L vs −1.5, p=0.003) was significant between the two groups. After adjusting for time from HIV diagnosis and years of ART, study group was the only factor associated to higher mean percentage change from baseline femoral BMD (MVC+DRV/r +4.83, p=0.044).
The study demonstrated a significant improvement in femoral BMD and T-score after treatment simplification with MVC+DRV/r.
PMCID: PMC4225387  PMID: 25397560
16.  Fosamprenavir or atazanavir once daily boosted with ritonavir 100 mg, plus tenofovir/emtricitabine, for the initial treatment of HIV infection: 48-week results of ALERT 
Once-daily (QD) ritonavir 100 mg-boosted fosamprenavir 1400 mg (FPV/r100) or atazanavir 300 mg (ATV/r100), plus tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) 300 mg/200 mg, have not been compared as initial antiretroviral treatment. To address this data gap, we conducted an open-label, multicenter 48-week study (ALERT) in 106 antiretroviral-naïve, HIV-infected patients (median HIV-1 RNA 4.9 log10 copies/mL; CD4+ count 191 cells/mm3) randomly assigned to the FPV/r100 or ATV/r100 regimens.
At baseline, the FPV/r100 or ATV/r100 arms were well-matched for HIV-1 RNA (median, 4.9 log10 copies/mL [both]), CD4+ count (mean, 176 vs 205 cells/mm3). At week 48, intent-to-treat: missing/discontinuation = failure analysis showed similar responses to FPV/r100 and ATV/r100 (HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL: 75% (40/53) vs 83% (44/53), p = 0.34 [Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test]); mean CD4+ count change-from-baseline: +170 vs +183 cells/mm3, p = 0.398 [Wilcoxon rank sum test]). Fasting total/LDL/HDL-cholesterol changes-from-baseline were also similar, although week 48 median fasting triglycerides were higher with FPV/r100 (150 vs 131 mg/dL). FPV/r100-treated patients experienced fewer treatment-related grade 2–4 adverse events (15% vs 57%), with differences driven by ATV-related hyperbilirubinemia. Three patients discontinued TDF/FTC because their GFR decreased to <50 mL/min.
The all-QD regimens of FPV/r100 and ATV/r100, plus TDF/FTC, provided similar virologic, CD4+ response, and fasting total/LDL/HDL-cholesterol changes through 48 weeks. Fewer FPV/r100-treated patients experienced treatment-related grade 2–4 adverse events.
PMCID: PMC2365957  PMID: 18373851
17.  Switching Tenofovir/Emtricitabine plus Lopinavir/r to Raltegravir plus Darunavir/r in Patients with Suppressed Viral Load Did Not Result in Improvement of Renal Function but Could Sustain Viral Suppression: A Randomized Multicenter Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73639.
Whether tenofovir nephrotoxicity is reversible after its withdrawal is unknown. Furthermore, there are no data on the viral efficacy of raltegravir (RAL) plus ritonavir-boosted Darunavir (DRV/r) in patients with suppressed viral load.
This multicenter, randomized trial compared renal function and viral efficacy in patients with suppressed viral load treated with RAL+DRV/r and ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r) plus tenofovir/emtricitabine (TVD), who had been previously on LPV/r+TVD. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with >10% improvement in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at 48 weeks calculated with Cockcroft-Gault equation.
58 randomized and treatment-exposed patients were analyzed (28 on RAL+DRV/r and 30 on LPV/r+TVD). Greater than 10% improvement in eGFR was noted in 6 (25%) out of 24 with RAL+DRV/r and 3 (11%) of 28 with LPV/r+TVD, and the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.272, 95% CI -0.067 to 0.354). Sensitivity analyses using three other equations for eGFR showed the same results. Urinary β2 microglobulin, a sensitive marker of tenofovir tubulopathy, significantly improved with RAL+DRV/r than with LPV/r+TVD (-271 versus -64 µg/gCr, p=0.026). Per protocol analysis showed that the HIV-RNA was <50 copies/mL at week 48 in all patients of both arms (24 in RAL+DRV and 29 in LPV/r+TVD).
Switching LPV/r+TVD to RAL+DRV/r did not significantly increase the proportion of patients who showed >10% improvement in renal function among those with relatively preserved eGFR. However, the switch improved urinary β2 microglobulin, suggesting that discontinuation of TDF might be beneficial in the long-term. RAL+DRV/r showed favorable viral efficacy in patients with suppressed viral load.
Trial Registration NCT01294761, Umin Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000005116
PMCID: PMC3738570  PMID: 23951362
18.  Switching to boosted protease inhibitor plus a second antiretroviral drug (dual therapy) for treatment simplification: a multicenter analysis 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19802.
To assess the role of drugs used in dual therapy (DT), as cART simplification, over the risk of treatment failure.
Materials and Methods
Patients starting DT regimen composed by a boosted protease inhibitor (PI/r): darunavir (DRV/r), lopinavir (LPVr) or atazanavir (ATV/r) plus a second drug: raltegravir (RAL), maraviroc (MRV) etravirine (ETR), lamivudine (3TC) or tenofovir (TDF), this one generally used in HBV co-infected patients, were included. The effect of each drug as well as other clinical and virological cofactors over treatment failure was assessed using survival analysis.
Overall, 480 patients from six reference Italian centres were included: all switched to DT with HIV-RNA <500 cp/µL, 376 of them at <50 cp/µL. Patients who switched at <50 cp/µL showed a significant lower risk of treatment failure (13.3% versus 23.3% at 1 year and 28.0% versus 44.6% at 3 years, p=0.005), thus the analysis was focused on this subgroup. Among the patients who switched at <50 cp/µL, the proportion of drug used in DT was: DRV/r 63.0%, RAL 53.7%, ETR 19.4%, ATV/r 18.4%, MRV 17.3%, LPV/r 12.8%, TDF 6.4% and 3TC 5.9%; DRV/r-RAL was the most widely used combination: 32.5%. Treatment failure was observed in 78 patients, of whom 38 virological and 35 for toxicity/intolerance, one patient died during follow-up and four patients interrupted for personal decision with undetectable HIV-RNA. At Cox Model, adjusted by gender, age, non-Italian origin, AIDS diagnosis, time on cART, number of regimens, CD4 nadir, baseline CD4, all the drugs had a positive effect on probability of failure (Figure), however the effect was significant for DRV/r (HR:0.21, 95% CI 0.07–0.59, p=0.03), ATV/r (0.30, 0.09–0.97, p=0.044) and RAL (0.37, 0.15–0.93, p=0.034); higher CD4 count at baseline was also associated with lower risk of failure while number of previous regimens with a higher risk. Moreover, ATV/r was found significant associated with significant higher risk of failure by toxicity (as well as LPV/r) but lower risk of virological failure, while both 3TC and RAL with significant lower risk of toxicity.
Our analysis suggest that using PI/r-based DL is highly effective if switching from HIV-RNA <50 cp/µL; DL should be used with caution in patients with low CD4 count and longer history of treatment; DRV/r is the best compromise among PI/r, ATV/r is effective but is associate with frequent interruption by toxicity; RAL showed high tolerability so that its use is related to the lowest risk of failure as second drug.
PMCID: PMC4225349  PMID: 25397546
19.  Comparative gender analysis of the efficacy and safety of atazanavir/ritonavir and lopinavir/ritonavir at 96 weeks in the CASTLE study 
To examine whether the overall results of the CASTLE study pertain to both genders, we analysed the efficacy and safety of atazanavir/ritonavir and lopinavir/ritonavir in 277 female and 606 male patients in the open-label, multinational trial over 96 weeks. The trial is registered with, number NCT00272779.
Treatment-naive patients aged ≥18 years with HIV-1 RNA ≥5000 copies/mL were randomized to receive either atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg once daily or lopinavir/ritonavir 400/100 mg twice daily, with fixed-dose tenofovir/emtricitabine 300/200 mg once daily.
At week 96, confirmed virological response rates (HIV RNA <50 copies/mL; intent-to-treat analysis) were higher in women and men receiving atazanavir/ritonavir than those receiving lopinavir/ritonavir and lower in women than men in both treatment arms (67% of women and 77% of men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 63% of women and 71% of men on lopinavir/ritonavir). These differences were not observed in the on-treatment analysis. Mean change in CD4 cell count from baseline to week 96 was 265 cells/mm3 for women and 269 cells/mm3 for men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 298 cells/mm3 for women and 286 cells/mm3 for men on lopinavir/ritonavir. Discontinuation rates were higher in women than men in each treatment arm (22% of women and 15% of men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 29% of women and 18% of men on lopinavir/ritonavir). In women and men, grade 2–4 nausea and diarrhoea were more frequent in the lopinavir/ritonavir group; jaundice and hyperbilirubinaemia occurred more frequently in the atazanavir/ritonavir group.
Once-daily atazanavir/ritonavir is an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic option for women and men with HIV-1 infection. The sex-based differences in response may be due to higher discontinuation rates in women.
PMCID: PMC3019087  PMID: 21148235
antiretroviral therapy; protease inhibitors; HIV
20.  Short Communication: Aging Not Gender Is Associated with High Atazanavir Plasma Concentrations in Asian HIV-Infected Patients 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2013;29(12):1541-1546.
Physiological effects of aging make the older population more susceptible to adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions. We evaluated the impact of aging and gender on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) 300/100 mg once daily (qd) in 22 well-suppressed HIV-infected patients. This was a 24-h intensive PK study. Subjects were HIV-1-infected adults aged ≥18 years with HIV RNA <50 copies/ml and treated with ATV/r 300/100 mg once daily plus two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) for at least 2 weeks. Atazanavir and ritonavir plasma concentrations were measured by validated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Plasma PK parameters were calculated using noncompartmental methods. Since 50% of the patients were older than 42 years, age 42 was selected as the cut-off point for the older (>42 years) group. Gender, weight, duration of ATV/r therapy, and proportion treated with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-containing regimens did not differ between both groups. Patients from the aging group had a reduced creatinine clearance (91 versus 76 ml/min). The older group had a higher atazanavir exposure with median AUC0–24 71.2 vs. 53.1 mg·h/liter, Cmax 8.5 vs. 5.5 mg/liter, and Ctrough 1.17 vs. 0.78 mg/liter, and slower apparent clearance (3.5 vs. 4.8 liter/h). Ten patients (91%) from the older group and 36% from the younger group had ATV Ctrough levels higher than the proposed upper limit for toxicity of 0.85 mg/liter. Females had a lower body weight (BW) (46 versus 63 kg) than the males, but atazanavir concentrations in females were greater. However, in multivariate analysis, older age was the only significant predictor for higher atazanavir concentrations. Parameter estimate for age and atazanavir AUC after adjusting for gender and BW was 2.17 (95% CI 1.01–3.33). That is, for every year increase in age, AUC increases by approximately 2 mg·h/liter. Age seems to be an important factor influencing atazanavir pharmacokinetics. Patients from the aging group appeared to have higher atazanavir exposure compared to the younger group. Further PK explorations of ATV in the extremely aged population are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3848483  PMID: 24088045
21.  Impact of Low Abundance HIV Variants on Response to Ritonavir-Boosted Atazanavir or Fosamprenavir Given Once Daily with Tenofovir/Emtricitabine in Antiretroviral-Naive HIV-Infected Patients 
Population genotyping (PG) can underestimate resistance if resistance-containing low abundance variants go undetected. PG and clonal analysis (CA) results were compared in virologic failures (VFs) from a 48-week clinical trial that evaluated once-daily fosamprenavir/ritonavir (FPV/r) 1400 mg/100 mg or atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) 300 mg/100 mg, each combined with tenofovir/emtricitabine, in antiretroviral-naive patients. VF was defined as confirmed HIV-1 RNA ≥400 copies/ml at ≥24 weeks or viral rebound >400 copies/ml any time following viral suppression. All patients had baseline PG. One hundred and six patients enrolled (53/arm). Baseline resistance mutations were more prevalent in patients receiving FPV/r (10/53) than ATV/r (3/53). Seven patients (7%) were VFs-four on FPV/r and three on ATV/r. In the four FPV/r-treated VFs, baseline HIV TAMs combinations and/or PI mutations were detected in one by PG at VF (RT: L210W + T215C; PR: M46I + L76V) and three others by CA alone (RT: L210W + T215Y; RT: M41L; RT: K65R + K70R; PR: I47V); all four had study drug-associated mutations (CA detecting more HIV-1 resistance mutations than PG). In the three ATV/r VFs, no baseline drug-associated mutations were detected by PG; for one patient CA detected RT: K65R; PR: I84V. Phylogenetic analysis revealed tight clustering for FPV/r-treated VFs with highly related clones, whereas HIV-1 from ATV/r-treated VFs had no outgrowth from baseline of low abundance resistance-containing variants. In conclusion, low-abundance HIV resistance-containing variants were detected in baseline samples from patients with VF. The archived viruses that reemerged under selection pressure and acquired additional mutations were found primarily in patients in the FPV/r arm. Despite this and a baseline resistance imbalance between the two arms, FPV/r and ATV/r provided similar virologic suppression through 48 weeks; however, these findings highlight the necessity for the development of quick and inexpensive methods for detection of minority species to better guide therapy selection.
PMCID: PMC2875981  PMID: 20380480
22.  A Multicenter, Open Labeled, Randomized, Phase III Study Comparing Lopinavir/Ritonavir Plus Atazanavir to Lopinavir/Ritonavir Plus Zidovudine and Lamivudine in Naive HIV-1-Infected Patients: 48-Week Analysis of the LORAN Trial 
The Open AIDS Journal  2011;5:44-50.
The primary aim of the study was to compare the metabolic side effects of a nucleoside analogue-containing regimen with a nucleoside analogue-sparing double protease inhibitor regimen. A secondary goal was to test for efficacy of a double-PI regimen.
Multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase III clinical trial.
Adult HIV-1-infected individuals naïve to antiretroviral therapy with viral load above 400 HIV-RNA copies/ml were randomized (1:1) to either 400 mg lopinavir /100 mg ritonavir (LPV/r) BID plus 150 mg lamivudine/300 mg zidovudine (CBV) BID versus LPV/r BID plus 300 mg atazanavir (ATV) QD. Main outcome measure was the virologic failure in both groups, defined as viral load ≥50 copies/ml at week 48.
In the CBV/LPV/r-arm, 29 out of 35 patients [(83%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 66.9-92.2%] and 18 out of 40 patients (45%; 95% CI 29.7-61.5%) in the ATV/LPV/r-arm had a HIV-RNA level <50 copies/ml at week 48. The intent-to-treat analysis revealed inferior virologic response in the ATV/LPV/r arm (Chi-Q and Fisher´s Exact Test p<0.001) and resulted in premature termination of the trial. Eleven patients in the ATV/LPV/r-arm discontinued therapy because of virological failure. These failures mostly presented with low level replication (<1,000 copies/ml). Increases in CD4 cell counts was significantly more rapid in the ATV/LPV/r arm (p=0.02), but comparable at week 48.
ATV/LPV/r had less virologic efficacy than the conventional RTI-based regimen and resulted in a high virological failure rate with low level replication.
PMCID: PMC3103898  PMID: 21643422
HIV-therapy; double-protease-inhibitor; Therapy-naïve patients.
23.  Safety of darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) in HIV-1-infected DRV/r-experienced and -naïve patients: analysis of data in the real-world setting in Italy 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19573.
This descriptive, non-interventional study on HIV-1-infected patients treated with DRV/r in the usual clinical setting, with a single-arm prospective observational design, collected data on utilization of darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) under the conditions described in marketing authorization in usual clinical practice in Italy to evaluate efficacy and safety of DRV/r-based antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. This analysis focussed on the safety profile of DRV/r in HIV-1 infected patients.
Materials and Methods
Data were analyzed from four cohorts of HIV-1-infected patients treated with DRV/r in the real-world setting, including an ARV-naïve-DRV/r-naïve cohort (Cohort 1), an ARV-experienced-DRV/r-naïve cohort (Cohort 2) and two ARV-DRV/r-experienced cohorts (Cohorts 3 and 4), one of which (Cohort 3) was from the DRV/r Early Access Program. The objective of this analysis was to examine the safety data obtained in these four cohorts in patients enrolled from June 2009 to November 2011 and observed until December 2012 or DRV/r discontinuation.
Safety data from 875 patients were analyzed. DRV/r-based treatment was well tolerated, with 36.2% of patients reporting ≥1 adverse event (AE) and very few discontinuations due to study drug-related AEs (3.0% overall). The most frequent AEs were diarrhoea (2.7%), reduced bone density (2.6%) and hypercholesterolaemia (2.1%) (Table 1). Regarding metabolic parameters, levels of liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) remained stable from baseline to the last study visit (LSV) in DRV-experienced patients and decreased in DRV-naïve patients. Blood glucose concentrations remained stable in all cohorts. Serum triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations remained stable in DRV-experienced patients but increased in naïve patients, yet were still within normal range.
In HIV-1-infected patients treated with DRV/r in these settings, the tolerability profile was favourable and similar to (or better than) that reported in controlled clinical trials. These data confirm DRV/r to be a safe treatment choice in DRV/r-experienced and naïve patients.
PMCID: PMC4224783  PMID: 25394080
24.  Bone Mineral Density and Fractures in Antiretroviral-Naive Persons Randomized to Receive Abacavir-Lamivudine or Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate-Emtricitabine Along With Efavirenz or Atazanavir-Ritonavir: AIDS Clinical Trials Group A5224s, a Substudy of ACTG A5202 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(12):1791-1801.
(See the editorial commentary by Yin and Overton, on pages 1705-7.)
Background.  Long-term effects of abacavir (ABC)–lamivudine (3TC), compared with tenofovir (TDF)–emtricitabine (FTC) with efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir plus ritonavir (ATV/r), on bone mineral density (BMD) have not been analyzed.
Methods.  A5224s was a substudy of A5202, in which HIV-infected treatment-naive participants were randomized and blinded to receive ABC-3TC or TDF-FTC with open-label EFV or ATV/r. Primary bone end points included Dual-emission X-ray absorbtiometry (DXA)-measured percent changes in spine and hip BMD at week 96. Primary analyses were intent-to-treat. Statistical tests used the factorial design and included linear regression, 2-sample t, log-rank, and Fisher's exact tests.
Results.  Two hundred sixty-nine persons randomized to 4 arms of ABC-3TC or TDF-FTC with EFV or ATV/r. At baseline, 85% were male, and 47% were white non-Hispanic; the median HIV-1 RNA load was 4.6 log10 copies/mL, the median age was 38 years, the median weight was 76 kg, and the median CD4 cell count was 233 cells/μL. At week 96, the mean percentage changes from baseline in spine and hip BMD for ABC-3TC versus TDF-FTC were -1.3% and -3.3% (P = .004) and -2.6% and -4.0% (P = .024), respectively; and for EFV versus ATV/r were -1.7% and -3.1% (P = .035) and -3.1% and -3.4% (P = .61), respectively. Bone fracture was observed in 5.6% of participants. The probability of bone fractures and time to first fracture were not different across components.
Conclusions. Compared with ABC-3TC, TDF-FTC–treated participants had significantly greater decreases in spine and hip BMD, whereas ATV/r led to more significant losses in spine, but not hip, BMD than EFV.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00118898.
PMCID: PMC3100514  PMID: 21606537
25.  Inflammation markers after randomization to abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine with efavirenz or atazanavir/ritonavir: ACTG A5224 s, A5202 substudy 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(11):1371-1385.
The effect of specific antiretrovirals on inflammation is unclear.
A5224 s was a substudy of A5202, which randomized HIV-infected treatment-naïve subjects to blinded abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) with open-label efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in a factorial design. Our analysis compared changes in inflammation markers from baseline to week 24 between ABC/3TC and TDF/FTC. Secondary analyses included changes at week 96 and comparisons of EFV vs. ATV/r.
Analyses included 244 subjects (85% male, 48% white non-Hispanic), median age 39 years, HIV-1 RNA 4.6 log10 copies/mL, CD4 240 cells/µL. TNF-α, sTNFR-I and -II, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 decreased significantly at weeks 24 and 96, without significant differences between components (p ≥ 0.44). At week 24, ABC/3TC had a greater hsCRP mean fold change than TDF/FTC (1.43 vs. 0.88, estimated mean fold change percent difference (Δ) 61.5% [95% CI 13.6%, 129.5%]; p = 0.008). Similar results were seen at week 96 (p = 0.021). At week 24 (but not 96), EFV had a greater hsCRP mean fold change than ATV/r (1.41 vs. 0.88; Δ = 60.2% [12.6%, 127.7%]; p = 0.009). IL-6 decreased significantly at week 24 with TDF/FTC but not with ABC/3TC (between-components p = 0.019). At week 96, IL-6 decreased significantly in both NRTI components (between-components p = 0.11). IL-6 changes were not significantly different between ATV/r and EFV at either time point (p ≥ 0.89).
Soluble TNF-receptors and adhesion molecules decreased following treatment initiation and did not differ by regimens. Differences were seen on hsCRP and IL-6 changes with ABC/3TC vs. TDF/FTC and on hsCRP with EFV vs. ATV/r.
PMCID: PMC3560932  PMID: 22546988
abacavir; C-reactive protein; endothelial activation markers; Inflammation markers; interleukin-6; TNF alpha

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