European Commission approves new boosted saquinavir regimen (1000 mg saquinavir/100 mg ritonavir twice daily) for the treatment of HIV-1
Roche have announced that the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) has granted approval for both saquinavir hard gel capsules (Invirase™) and saquinavir soft gel capsules (Fortovase™), to be co-administered with a low dose of ritonavir (1000 mg saquinavir/100mg ritonavir twice daily).*
Boosting saquinavir with low doses of ritonavir allows more saquinavir to be absorbed into the blood and keeps saquinavir in the body for longer. The benefit for patients is that by using this approach, highly potent therapeutic levels of saquinavir are achieved in the blood with an excellent safety and tolerability while it is possible to reduce the dosing frequency and the required number of capsules. Previous regimens of both Invirase and Fortovase have been hampered by high pill burden, poor bioavailability and three times a day dosing requirements.
For an historical overview of the controversies surrounding the development of saquinavir from the Treatment Action Group go to:
Roche media release