September 19, 2007
Yesterday, U.S.-based pharmaceutical maker Pfizer reported encouraging results from a 48-week study of its HIV drug Selzentry (maraviroc). Approved in August by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Selzentry is the first drug in a new class, CCR5 antagonists, designed to block HIV's entry into human T-cells.
After 48 weeks, nearly three times as many patients taking Selzentry in a standard AIDS drug combination achieved undetectable HIV levels as compared with patients on conventional therapy alone. "The safety and durability of response seen with Selzentry in our study is reassuring. This drug is an important new weapon for clinicians who treat HIV," Jacob Lalezari, director of Quest Clinical Research at the University of California-San Francisco, told the 47th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago.
Selzentry is FDA-approved for HIV patients experiencing treatment failure and whose virus is susceptible to being stopped with a CCR5 antagonist. Side effects seen in patients taking the new drug were similar to those taking other AIDS drugs, including nausea, fatigue, headaches, and diarrhea.