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Alovudine helpful in patients with multidrug-resistant HIV
  NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Alovudine (MIV-310), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, reduces HIV viral load in patients infected with multidrug-resistant HIV, French and Swedish researchers report in the June 18th issue of AIDS.
Alovudine development was halted in the early 1990s because of hematological events at higher doses and because of an apparent lack of advantage over zidovudine, the authors point out. However, the drug has shown a potent and unique efficacy profile in in vitro studies.
To investigate further, Dr. Christine Katlama from Hopital Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris and colleagues conducted an open trial of the agent in 15 HIV-infected patients failing multidrug antiretroviral therapy and showing genotypic resistance.
Plasma HIV-1-RNA load decreased by a median 1.13 log10 after the 4 weeks of treatment. The median decrease in HIV viral load was lower in patients receiving stavudine (0.57 log10 decrease) than in patients not receiving stavudine (1.88 log10 decrease).
Nine of the 15 patients had plasma viral loads below 400 copies/mL by week 4, the researchers note. This included 8 of the 11 patients not taking stavudine.
HIV RNA load returned to baseline values in all patients after the cessation of alovudine treatment. There were no serious adverse events and the agent was never prematurely withdrawn.
In light of these findings, the researchers conclude that "further studies with different dosages and longer administration times are urgently needed."
AIDS 2004;18:1299-1304.


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