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Is There a New Superdrug on the Way?

Is There a New Superdrug on the Way?


In summer 2006 the Food and Drug Administration approved Atripla, the first single-pill treatment containing a full three-drug antiretroviral regimen. While a boon to many, the Sustiva component of the combo pill kept it from a sizable number of HIVers, including pregnant women, people unable to handle Sustiva's central nervous system side effects, and African-Americans, who have been shown in studies to metabolize Sustiva too slowly. Now drugmaker Gilead Sciences is planning clinical trials of a Sustiva-free alternative: Quad, a four-in-one combination pill some have already dubbed an anti-HIV 'superdrug.' Quad combines Gilead's nucleoside analogs Emtriva and Viread with the company's experimental integrase inhibitor, elvitegravir, and a booster medication. 'If Sustiva isn't useful, Quad may be of more benefit,' Gilead president John Milligan said of the new four-in-one pill. The company hopes to begin safety trials of Quad in the second half of the year.

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