Drug Approved for HIV Patients with Few Treatment Options

By Steve Barrett
Sunday, July 1, 2018

The FDA has approved Trogarzo, a medication for adults with HIV whose infection cannot otherwise be treated effectively.

“While most patients living with HIV can be successfully treated using a combination of two or more antiretroviral drugs, a small percentage of patients who have taken many HIV drugs in the past have multidrug-resistant HIV, limiting their treatment options and putting them at a high risk of HIV-related complications and progression to death,” Jeff Murray, MD, Deputy Director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated in a news release. “Trogarzo ... can provide significant benefit to patients who have run out of HIV treatment options.”

In a clinical trial, many of the 40 participants — all of whom had multidrug-resistant HIV — had been treated with at least 10 antiretrovirals previously. Most saw a significant drop in their HIV-RNA levels a week after researchers added the new drug to their regimens. Forty-three percent experienced HIV-RNA suppression after using Trogarzo and other antiretroviral drugs for 24 weeks, the FDA reports.

A healthcare provider administers the medication once every two weeks, in combination with other antiretrovirals.

Approximately 40,000 Americans were diagnosed with HIV in 2016, according to the CDC.