Researchers Find an Alternative to Truvada as PrEP

February 23, 2016

Results from the HPTN 069/ACTG 5305 trial (aptly dubbed NEXT-PREP) are in, and they show that Maraviroc-based regimens are highly effective at preventing HIV.

A research abstract dated Sept. 30, 2015 and obtained by HIV Equal showed that among 406 men enrolled at 12 sites, five seroconversions occurred among those being given a version of Maraviroc as PrEP. Four of those were associated with low or undetectable drug levels. The results were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.

Maraviroc is an already FDA-approved HIV entry inhibitor that concentrates in the genital tract/rectum and is taken once daily, making it a possible alternative to Truvada PrEP.

The phase II trial examined the safety and tolerability of four regimens: Maraviroc alone, Maraviroc plus emtricitabine (FTC), Maraviroc plus tenofovir (TDF) and TDF plus FTC (Truvada as PrEP).

In a random test of 122 participants at random times, 93 percent had detectable study drug plasma levels. Among the five seroconversions, two subjects never had steady drug levels present in their plasma at any visit. The three other seroconversions occurred in the branch given Maraviroc alone.

All of those who seroconverted had R5 virus (a common strain of HIV that attaches to the CCR5 co-receptor on a CD4 cell) and no genotypic resistance.

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