HIV Therapy Effective in Reducing Virus in Multi-Drug Resistant Patients

AUGUST 23, 2018
Jennifer Barrett, Associate Editor
A new HIV therapy demonstrated its efficacy in reducing the virus and boosting immunity in drug-resistant patients, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The phase 3 trial evaluated the newly-approved treatment, ibalizumab, in 40 patients with advanced, multi-drug-resistant (MDR) HIV infection. A novel therapy, ibalizumab, works by targeting the primary receptor for HIV entry into immune cells, known as CD4 T cells.
 
For the study, the patients received an intravenous dose of ibalizumab in addition to their failing regimen for 1 week. Then, they received ibalizumab in combination with optimized treatment regimens for 6 months.
 
According to the study, the researchers found that ibalizumab decreased the viral load in 83% of enrolled patients after 1 week of treatment. After 25 weeks, nearly half of patients experienced a viral load suppression dip below the level of detection.
 
Additionally, the researchers reported an increase in CD4 T cells. One patient experienced an adverse event related to ibalizumab, which resulted in withdrawal from the study.
 
Individuals with MDR HIV face limited options when existing therapies fail to suppress the virus, leading to drug resistance and worsening disease. The findings indicate promise for patients who have otherwise run out of effective treatment options for their infection.


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