Important Treatment Update: Drug Approval – Descovy (emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) fixed-dose combination).

Published: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), April 5, 2016.
On April 4, 2016 FDA approved DESCOVY, a two-drug fixed dose combination tablet containing 2 HIV nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). Each DESCOVY tablet contains 200 mg of FTC and 25 mg of TAF (equivalent to 28 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate).
DESCOVY is not a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection and must be combined with other antiretroviral agents to form a complete regimen.

The approval is based on a relative bioavailability trial demonstrating FTC and TAF exposures were similar between DESCOVY and GENVOYA (elvitegravir/cobicistat/FTC/TAF). A clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DESCOVY was not required because the safety and efficacy of FTC and TAF was established previously in clinical trials with GENVOYA.

TAF 25 mg provides for TAF exposures that match or exceed those observed in patients receiving GENVOYA, ensuring adequate antiviral effect. With respect to safety, TAF exposures for FTC/TAF 200 mg/25 mg when used with some boosted protease inhibitors will be higher than that of GENVOYA. However, exposures of the metabolite, tenofovir, will remain substantially lower than that observed with previously approved tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) formulations such as, Viread (TDF), Truvada (FTC/TDF) and Stribild (Elvitegravir, COBI, FTC, TDF). Thus, the safety of DESCOVY is supported by formulations with substantially higher tenofovir exposures.

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