STUDY SHOWS GILEAD'S TRUVADA BETTER AT SUPPRESSING HIV THAN GSK'S COMBIVIR

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Gilead Sciences' once-daily combination antiretroviral drug Truvada is more effective at suppressing HIV than GlaxoSmithKline's twice-daily antiretroviral Combivir, according to preliminary data from Gilead's Phase IV clinical trial.

Gilead released an analysis of data after 24 weeks of the trial, which included 411 HIV-positive patients who switched from Combivir, which combines GSK's Retrovir and Epivir, to Truvada, which combines Gilead's Emtriva and Viread. All patients had been taking Combivir for at least eight weeks prior to switching drugs. All of the patients also were taking Bristol-Myers Squibb's Sustiva, known generically as efavirenz, before the switch and continued taking it after the switch.

Roughly 59 percent of participants had HIV viral loads of less than 50 copies per mL before switching to Truvada, and 76 percent of patients had such suppressed viral loads 24 weeks after changing drugs, according to Gilead. All of the patients at the time the study began had viral loads below 400 copies per mL, and 94 percent retained that level after 24 weeks.