Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new labeling for ISENTRESS ® (raltegravir) Film-coated Tablets, Merck’s integrase inhibitor for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adult patients as part of combination HIV therapy. The updated prescribing information now includes 240-week results from the STARTMRK study, the longest double-blind Phase III non-inferiority study evaluating an integrase inhibitor in treatment-naïve adult patients with HIV-1 infection. The results show that the regimen containing ISENTRESS in combination therapy demonstrated long-term viral suppression and a greater immunologic response than the efavirenz-containing regimen, as well as a proven, long-term safety and tolerability profile through 240 weeks in previously untreated (treatment-naïve) adult HIV-1 infected patients.
ISENTRESS is an integrase inhibitor indicated in combination with other antiretroviral (ARV) agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. This indication is based on analyses of plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in three double-blind controlled studies of ISENTRESS. Two of these studies were conducted in clinically advanced, three-class ARV [non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), protease inhibitor (PI)] treatment-experienced adult patients through 96 weeks and one was conducted in treatment-naïve adults through 240 weeks.
The use of other active agents with ISENTRESS (raltegravir) is associated with a greater likelihood of treatment response.
Severe, potentially life-threatening and fatal skin reactions have been reported with ISENTRESS. Additionally, during the initial phase of combination ARV treatment, immune reconstitution syndrome may occur. (See Important Selected Safety Information below.)“As the care of HIV evolves, ISENTRESS continues to be an important treatment option for adult patients with HIV-1,” said Jürgen Rockstroh, M.D., University of Bonn, Bonn-Venusberg, Germany. “These 240-week results are important for physicians to consider when initiating treatment with ISENTRESS in combination therapy in treatment-naïve adult patients with HIV-1.”