HIV :: HIV drug Prezista, darunavir performs well in clinical trials

A new drug for HIV has produced highly promising results in clinical trials, when combined with an existing treatment, researchers revealed.

Darunavir, also known as Prezista or TMC114, is a type of medicine called a protease inhibitor (PI). PIs work by blocking protease, a protein that HV needs to make more copies of itself.

Darunavir was given by a Spanish team to patients with advanced HIV infection, in tandem with a low dose of the current antiretroviral ritonavir.

Darunavir, to be coadministered with ritonavir, was approved by the FDA on June 23, 2006, for use with other antiretroviral agents in the treatment of HIV infection in adults. Darunavir does not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS and does not reduce the risk of passing the virus to other people.

There is a need for new antiretroviral drugs, as current treatments often start to fail after several years.

In October 2005, Tibotec opened an expanded access program for U.S. patients who have limited or no treatment options because of virologic failure or who cannot tolerate certain anti-HIV drug regimens. Following FDA approval of darunavir, an accompanying expanded access program began in Europe in 2006.

Darunavir comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth with food.

The study by a Barcelona hospital team is published by The Lancet.

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