The new Merck & Co. HIV drug Isentress (raltegravir) is effective in suppressing the Aids-causing virus in people who haven't responded to other therapies, the Bloomberg news service reported Friday, citing staff reviewer documents on the US Food and Drug Administration Web site.
An FDA expert advisory panel is slated to meet on 5 September to decide whether to recommend approval of the drug.
Isentress uses a different method than existing drugs to combat HIV. It blocks the process that the virus uses to insert genetic material into a person's DNA, which allows the virus to reproduce, Bloomberg said.
In two recent trials, the drug "reduced the virus to almost undetectable levels" after four months in as many as 62 percent of patients who took it in combination with other HIV medications, the news service said. That compared with up to 36 percent of patients who took a non-medicinal placebo along with the other HIV treatments. – (HealthDayNews)