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European Commission Approves Symtuza® for the Treatment of HIV-1 In Adults and Adolescents in Europe

Janssen-Cilag International NV (Janssen) today announced that the European Commission has approved the use of Symtuza®, a once-daily darunavir-based single-tablet regimen (STR), for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older with a body weight of at least 40 kg.

Cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide are from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

The only darunavir-based STR indicated for the treatment of this patient group, Symtuza® combines the proven efficacy and durability of darunavir with the improved renal laboratory and bone mineral density profile of F/TAF as compared to F/TDF (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). It is the only approved treatment to offer the convenience of a STR alongside the high genetic barrier to resistance provided by darunavir.

“There are almost one million people in the European Union currently living with HIV. The availability of a single-treatment regimen with a high barrier to resistance mutations eliminates the need for separate tablets, reducing the burden of pills on daily life for patients, and helping them to achieve improved treatment adherence and viral suppression,” said Jean-Michel Molina, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Paris Diderot.

“At Janssen, we are committed to developing effective and innovative treatments which address the issues of adherence and resistance. Today’s approval by the European Commission demonstrates our efforts to treat HIV more simply, helping all those living with HIV to achieve an undetectable viral load while enjoying an improved quality of life,” said Lawrence M. Blatt, Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Janssen Infectious Diseases Therapeutics.

Results from a bioequivalence study that compared Symtuza® with the combined administration of the separate agents darunavir [D] 800 mg, Cobicistat [C] 150 mg, and Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide [FTC/TAF] 200 mg/10 mg fixed-dose combination were presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) conference in Paris, France on 2nd July this year. These results confirmed that the once-daily STR is bioequivalent to the combined administration of the separate agents, as well as demonstrating that the STR is well tolerated. 

In addition, results from the pivotal Phase 3 EMERALD study presented at IAS showed that the once-daily STR containing darunavir 800 mg, Cobicistat 150 mg, Emtricitabine 200 mg and Tenofovir Alafenamide 10 mg [D/C/F/TAF] had a low cumulative virologic rebound rate and a high virologic suppression rate at 24 weeks in HIV-1 positive, virologically suppressed adults who switched from a standard boosted protease inhibitor (PI) plus Tenofovir/Emtricitabine regimen. A Phase 3 clinical trial programme investigating the efficacy and safety of the darunavir-based combination is ongoing. In October, EMERALD 48-week data will be presented at ID Week 2017 in San Diego, California, USA, and 48-week data from the Phase 3 AMBER trial in antiretroviral therapy (ART) naïve patients will be presented at the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) Conference on 25th-27th October 2017 in Milan, Italy.

On 20 July, the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a positive opinion for Symtuza®.5 This subsequent European Commission approval allows Janssen to market Symtuza® in all countries in the European Union and European Economic Area.