Tibotec Experimental Protease Inhibitor Successfully Lowers Viral Loads of HIV Patients With Drug Resistance, Study Shows
A protease inhibitor produced by the Belgian pharmaceutical company Tibotec, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has shown success treating HIV-positive people who are resistant to other medications, researchers at the 12th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston said last week, Wall Street Journal reports (Wall Street Journal, 2/25). Protease inhibitors work by blocking the action of an enzyme that cuts HIV proteins into the shorter sections that the virus needs to create copies of itself (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/2/04). After 24 weeks, between 30% and 47% of the people who took a combination of TMC114 and ritonavir, another protease inhibitor, had undetectable viral loads, compared with 10% of the people in the control arm, according to a Tibotec release. Dr. Richard Haubrich, a scientist at the University of California-San Diego, said that TMC114 and ritonavir also showed "potent activity" in a 14-day trial of patients who were resistant to other medications (AFP/Hindustan Times, 2/25). The Phase II trial is expected to continue to 96 weeks, according to the release (Tibotec release, 2/25).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.