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Gilead Sciences : China Approves Descovy For Treatment Of HIV-1 Infection

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) announced that the China National Medical Products Administration or NMPA has approved Descovy ---emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 10 mg and emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg, F/TAF---, a fixed-dose combination for the treatment of HIV.

In China, Descovy is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in adults and adolescents (aged 12 years and older with body weight at least 35 kg).

In the United States, Descovy has a boxed warning in its product label regarding the risk of post treatment acute exacerbation of hepatitis B.

TAF is a novel, targeted prodrug of tenofovir that has demonstrated antiviral efficacy similar to Gilead's TDF (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) but at one-tenth of the dose. Data show that because TAF has greater plasma stability and more efficiently delivers tenofovir to peripheral blood mononuclear cells compared to TDF, it can be given at a lower dose, resulting in less tenofovir in the bloodstream. In clinical trials, TAF demonstrated improved renal and bone laboratory safety parameters compared to TDF.

The company said Descovy received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission in 2016. In the U.S., only the emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg dosage form is approved.

The company noted that Descovy does not cure HIV infection or AIDS.

The company noted that Descovy is not approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and the safety and efficacy of Descovy have not been established in patients coinfected with HIV-1 and HBV. Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B have been reported in patients who are coinfected with HIV-1 and HBV and have discontinued products containing emtricitabine and/or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and may occur with discontinuation of Descovy.

Hepatic function should be monitored closely with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months in patients who are coinfected with HIV-1 and HBV and discontinue Descovy. If appropriate, initiation of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted.

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