High hopes for TAF-based STR

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25 Sep 2014

Phase III trial data for Gilead Science’s next-gen HIV drug looks promising. The once-a-day single tablet regimen (STR) has not only proved effective in suppressing HIV levels, it also reduces bone density and kidney function. It has also seen to show better distribution in lymph tissues (where about 98% of HIV resides) and greater antiviral activity.

The STR comprises of elvitegravir 150mg, cobicistat 150mg, emtricitabine 200mg and — this is the component that has people excited —  a new nucleotide reverse transciptase inhibitor, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) 10mg.

TAF works similarly to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) which is found in Viread, Truvada, Atripla, Complera and Stribild — though at doses ten times less, hence fewer kidney and bone-related side-effects.

TAF’s arrival has been highly anticipated and is expected to produce huge dividends for Gilead. Indeed, the company’s stock rose 2.2% following the release of the trial data. Gilead hopes to file for TAF’s approval in the US and EU in the next quarter.