New AIDS Drug 'Incredibly Encouraging'
Isentress Works When All Other AIDS Drugs Fail, Study Shows
New AIDS Drug, New HIV Target continued...
Another is AIDS treatment pioneer Margaret A. Fischl, MD, director of AIDS
research at the University of Miami. Fischl attended the reports by Eron and
"I think everyone at the conference was very impressed by this integrase
inhibitor," Fischl tells WebMD. "No matter how you looked at it, you
saw the integrase inhibitor did very well."
Fischl, too, pointed to the difficulty of treating the kind of patients in
the Isentress study.
"You are looking at patients who had been on potent antiviral therapy
for a decade -- and they failed that," she says. "So yes, I am
Carlos del Rio, MD, chief of medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital and
professor of medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, treated many of the study
"It is an incredible drug, an amazing drug," del Rio tells WebMD.
"With this drug we are able to see some pretty remarkable results."
So far, Isentress seems remarkably safe. It did not seem to cause any
adverse events not seen in patients who received a placebo. Fewer than 2% of
patients in the trial dropped out due to adverse events.
But all the experts who spoke with WebMD warn that only time will tell. Many
other HIV drugs have shown their toxic side only after extended use.
Like all other anti-HIV drugs, the AIDS virus can become resistant to
Isentress. Eron warns that doctors must be very careful about how they use the
"The key here is that we need to remember to work as hard as we can to
combine even this new, very active drug with other very active drugs," he
Merck -- a WebMD sponsor -- has already begun an expanded access trial for
patients who need Isentress. And del Rio says he's already started testing the
drug as a first-line AIDS therapy.
"We are getting good results so far," he says.