US approves new HIV treatment for patients with limited options

European approval for pair of Merck’s HIV treatments
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Jarun Ontakrai

TaiMed Biologics has picked up US approval for Trogarzo, a new type of antiretroviral medication for adult patients living with HIV who have limited treatment options.

Trogarzo is administered intravenously once every 14 days by a trained medical professional and used in combination with other antiretroviral medications.

The safety and efficacy of Trogarzo were evaluated in a clinical trial of 40 heavily treatment-experienced patients with MDR HIV-1 who continued to have high levels of virus (HIV-RNA) in their blood despite being on antiretroviral drugs.

Many of the participants had previously been treated with 10 or more antiretroviral drugs. The majority of participants experienced a significant decrease in their HIV-RNA levels one week after Trogarzo was added to their failing antiretroviral regimens.

After 24 weeks of Trogarzo plus other antiretroviral drugs, 43% of the trial’s participants achieved HIV RNA suppression.

The clinical trial focused on the small patient population with limited treatment options and demonstrated the benefit of Trogarzo in achieving reduction of HIV RNA. The seriousness of the disease, the need to individualize other drugs in the treatment regimen, and safety data from other trials were considered in evaluating the Trogarzo development program.

A total of 292 patients with HIV-1 infection have been exposed to Trogarzo IV infusion. The most common adverse reactions to Trogarzo were diarrhoea, dizziness, nausea and rash. Severe side effects included rash and changes in the immune system (immune reconstitution syndrome).

The FDA granted this application Fast Track, Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designations. Trogarzo also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.