March 25, 2011
Gilead Sciences Inc. this week reported late-stage clinical trial results showing that its experimental once-daily HIV drug elvitegravir proved as effective as Merck & Co.'s twice-daily drug Isentress (raltegravir). In the study, patients were given an antiretroviral regimen plus elvitegravir or Isentress. After 48 weeks, 59 percent of the elvitegravir patients had achieved the targeted viral load levels, versus 57.8 percent of the Isentress group. Discontinuation rates due to adverse events were comparable in both groups. Gilead plans to submit the presentation data later this year at a scientific conference. Elvitegravir is designed to thwart HIV's ability to invade human cells' genetic material.