Author(s): Dau B, Holodniy M
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Abstract The advent of HIV-1 resistance to antiretroviral medications, the need for lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected individuals, and the goal of minimizing ART-related adverse effects and toxicity all drive the need for new antiretroviral drugs. Two new classes of antiretroviral medications for HIV treatment, the CCR5 and integrase inhibitors, have recently been approved for use in patients in whom previous HIV treatment regimens have failed. These new agent classes are a welcome addition to other antiretroviral classes, which include nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors and fusion inhibitors. Maraviroc is a CCR5 co-receptor antagonist that blocks HIV binding to the CCR5 receptor, which is a CD4 co-receptor necessary for cell entry. It is approved for use in ART-experienced patients with CCR5-tropic HIV, and was found to significantly reduce HIV viral load and increase CD4+ cell count when combined with an optimized background ART regimen (OBR). Treatment failure with maraviroc has been described and is primarily associated with the presence of CXCR4-tropic virus. Vicriviroc is another CCR5 co-receptor antagonist that is in late clinical trials. Raltegravir is the first US FDA-approved HIV-1 integrase inhibitor. It is approved for use in ART-experienced patients and was found to significantly reduce HIV viral load and increase CD4+ cell counts compared with placebo in combination with an OBR. Raltegravir has also been studied in treatment-naive patients and was found to be non-inferior to an efavirenz-based regimen. Elvitegravir is another HIV-1 integrase inhibitor in clinical development. Other new antiretroviral agents in clinical development include PRO140, a monoclonal antibody against CCR5, and bevirimat, a maturation inhibitor that prevents late-stage gag polyprotein processing. A number of other drug targets, such as CCR5 co-receptor agonists, CXCR4 co-receptor antagonists, novel fusion inhibitors, and alternative antiretroviral strategies, such as immune stimulation and gene therapy, are under investigation.
This article was published in Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Health & Medical Informatics