Kaletra-Isentress therapy for HIV patients as effective as standard treatments, drug makers say

VIENNA A combination therapy comprising of drugs made by Abbott and Merck is as effective as standard therapy regimens in reducing viral load levels to undetectable levels in HIV patients, according to results of a trial presented at the 18th annual International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Abbott presented results of its “PROGRESS” study, showing that so-called treatment-naive patients who had taken Abbott’s Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir) and Merck’s Isentress (raltegravir) for 48 weeks achieved undetectable viral loads, defined as 40 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood; results were similar to those of patients taking the standard therapy, a combination of Kaletra and Gilead Sciences’ Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine).

“The 48-week PROGRESS study results, while not definitive, suggest that the nucleoside-sparing HIV regimen of Kaletra and Isentress may be an alternative treatment option for patients new to HIV therapy, when compared to a standard HIV regimen,” presenting study author and professor of medicine at France’s University Hospital Center Jacques Reynes said. “This further advances our research into new HIV treatment classes and explores the use of alternative drug combinations for patients.”

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