Final 192-week efficacy and safety of once-daily darunavir/ritonavir compared with lopinavir/ritonavir in HIV-1-infected treatment-naive patients in the ARTEMIS trial

Barts and The London NHS Trust, London, UK.
HIV Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.99). 10/2012; 14(1). DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2012.01060.x
Source: PubMed


This paper presents the final analysis of once-daily darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) vs. lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) in treatment-naïve HIV-1-infected adults.
ARTEMIS (AntiRetroviral Therapy with TMC114 ExaMined In naïve Subjects; NCT00258557) was a randomized, open-label, phase-III, 192-week trial. Patients were stratified by baseline HIV-1 RNA and CD4 count, and randomized to once-daily DRV/r 800/100 mg or LPV/r 800/200 mg total daily dose (either once or twice daily) plus tenofovir/emtricitabine.
Of 689 randomized patients receiving treatment (DRV/r: 343; LPV/r: 346), 85 and 114 patients in the DRV/r and LPV/r arms, respectively, had discontinued by week 192. Noninferiority was shown in the primary endpoint of virological response (HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL) [DRV/r: 68.8%; LPV/r: 57.2%; P < 0.001; intent to treat (ITT)/time to loss of virological response; estimated difference in response 11.6% (95% confidence interval 4.4–18.8%)]. Statistical superiority in virological response of DRV/r over LPV/r was demonstrated for the primary endpoint (P = 0.002) and for the ITT non-virological-failure-censored analysis (87.4% vs. 80.8%, respectively; P = 0.040). No protease inhibitor (PI) primary mutations developed and only low levels of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) resistance developed in virological failures in both groups. Significantly fewer discontinuations because of adverse events were observed with DRV/r (4.7%) than with LPV/r (12.7%; P = 0.005). Grade 2–4 treatment-related diarrhoea was significantly less frequent with DRV/r than with LPV/r (5.0% vs. 11.3%, respectively; P = 0.003). DRV/r was associated with smaller median increases in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels than LPV/r. Changes in low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were similar between groups. Similar increases in aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase for DRV/r and LPV/r were observed.
Over 192 weeks, once-daily DRV/r was noninferior and statistically superior in virological response to LPV/r, with a more favourable gastrointestinal profile, demonstrating its suitability for long-term use in treatment-naïve patients.

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    • "In some cases, newer compounds could be used even within single drug classes to provide patient benefit in the event of resistance. A good example of this has been the use of ritonavir-boosted darunavir (DRV) that has a high genetic barrier for resistance for use in the place of earlier protease inhibitors such as nelfinavir (NFV) and ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV) that have lower genetic barriers to resistance [9–12]. Due to the fact that ritonavir helps to maintain higher levels of PIs in the blood and tissues of treated individuals, the action of these compounds is prolonged and their genetic barrier for resistance is increased. "
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