FDA Approves Descovy Drug As HIV Treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Descovy, a combination HIV drug developed by biologic drugmaker Gilead Sciences. The daily pill includes two already-approved drugs for treating the HIV virus.

Read the press release below:

Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Descovy (emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg, F/TAF), a fixed-dose combination for the treatment of HIV. Descovy is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Descovy is not indicated for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 in adults at high risk.

Descovy has a boxed warning in its product label regarding the risks of lactic acidosis/severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, and post treatment acute exacerbation of hepatitis B.

TAF is a novel targeted prodrug of tenofovir that has demonstrated high antiviral efficacy similar to and at a dose less than one-tenth that of Gilead’s Viread® (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, TDF). TAF has also demonstrated improvement in surrogate laboratory markers of renal and bone safety as compared to TDF in clinical trials in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Data show that because TAF enters cells, including HIV-infected cells, more efficiently than TDF, it can be given at a much lower dose and there is 90 percent less tenofovir in the bloodstream.

“As the first new HIV treatment backbone approved by the FDA in more than a decade, Descovy represents an important evolution in HIV care. As part of a single tablet regimen or partnered with a third agent, the components of Descovy offer patients a simple and effective combination with a safety profile that has the potential to improve health,” said Norbert Bischofberger , PhD, Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Gilead Sciences. “With today’s approval, Gilead is now able to offer patients and providers in the United States a range of options from our TAF based-portfolio, which is designed to help address the diverse needs of HIV patients worldwide.”

The approval of Descovy is supported by 48-week data from two pivotal Phase 3 studies (Studies 104 and 111) in which the F/TAF-based regimen (administered as Genvoya®; elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 10 mg, E/C/F/TAF) met its primary objective of non-inferiority compared to a F/TDF-based regimen (administered as Stribild®; elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg, E/C/F/TDF) among treatment naïve adult patients. Tests of certain renal and bone laboratory parameters favored the F/TAF-based regimen over the F/TDF-based regimen.

The approval also is supported by a Phase 3 study (Study 109) evaluating the F/TAF-based regimen (administered as Genvoya) among virologically suppressed adult patients who switched from F/TDF-based regimens. In the study, the F/TAF-based regimen was found to be statistically non-inferior to the F/TDF-based regimens and demonstrated improvements in certain bone and renal laboratory parameters compared to the F/TDF-based regimens. Additionally, the approval is supported by data from Phase 3 studies evaluating the F/TAF-based regimen (administered as Genvoya) among virologically suppressed adults with mild-to-moderate renal impairment and among treatment naïve adolescents. Finally, bioequivalence studies demonstrated that Descovy achieved the same drug levels of TAF and emtricitabine in the blood as Genvoya.

Descovy does not cure HIV infection or AIDS.