Experimental Antiretroviral Combination Therapy Effective in Reducing Viral Loads in Children, Boehringer Ingelheim Study Says
August 16, 2006
German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim's experimental oral formulation of its antiretroviral drug Aptivus, known generically as tipranavir, in combination with Abbott Laboratories' Norvir, known generically as ritonavir, helps reduce HIV viral loads in children, according to study results presented Monday at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Reuters reports (Reuters, 8/14). Researchers over 48 weeks examined 115 children ages two to 18 living with HIV-1, and found that children who took the tipranavir-ritonavir antiretroviral therapy experienced a decrease in HIV viral loads and an increase in immunologic levels (Boehringer Ingelheim release, 8/14). Of the 115 children, all but three previously had undergone HIV/AIDS treatment and had HIV virus strains that showed high levels of resistance to other drugs (Reuters, 8/14). Boehringer Ingelheim in a statement said that it plans in 2007 to submit an application with the European Medicines Agency for approval of tipranavir for use in children living with HIV-1 who previously had received HIV treatment. "A significant need exists for pediatric formulations of antiretroviral drugs, especially for treatment-experienced children who have limited options for constructing an active and durable treatment regimen," Pedro Cahn, director of Fundacion Huesped in Buenos Aires, Argentina, said, adding, "We now have evidence that tipranavir oral solution, in combination with other antiretroviral medications, may be useful for this pediatric patient population" (Boehringer Ingelheim release, 8/14). The European Commission in October 2005 approved Aptivus to be used in combination with Norvir for HIV-positive people who have become resistant to other drugs. Aptivus also has been approved for use in Mexico and Switzerland and is under review by other regulatory agencies (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/27/05).
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