Long-acting injectable ART is effective for people over 50
A long-acting injectable antiretroviral treatment (ART), comprised of cabotegravir and rilpivirine, has shown similar levels of efficacy, safety and tolerability in study participants aged over 50 as in those under 50, according to data presented at Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2021).
Researchers analysed data from three studies ATLAS, FLAIR and ATLAS-2M for satisfaction, tolerability and adherence to treatment in two age groups ≥50 and <50 years.
The primary and secondary measures of efficacy at 48 weeks of observation were:
- Proportion of participants with plasma viral load (VL) ≥50 copies/mL (no virologic response)
- Proportion of participants with VL <50 copies/mL (virologic suppression)
Additional indicators were adherence to treatment, safety, rate of confirmed virologic failure, and satisfaction with treatment.
Data from a total of 399 participants ≥50 years old and 1437 participants <50 years old were divided into three treatment groups:
- Long-acting injectable ART (cabotegravir + rilpivirine) every 4 weeks
- Long-acting injectable ART (cabotegravir + rilpivirine) every 8 weeks
- Standard daily ART
Virologic outcomes were similar across treatment and age groups, with high viral suppression outcomes (92–97%) and low non-response rates (2%).
The incidence of cardiovascular disease was equally low in all groups. The safety profiles between participants ≥50 years old and <50 years old were similar for both long-acting regimens with few discontinuances due to side effects. Injection site reactions were also similar in frequency and severity in all groups.
The analysis showed similar results for the efficacy, safety and tolerability of long-acting injectable ART in a wide range of age groups. Treatment satisfaction also improved in both injectable ART groups.
According to the researchers, the data obtained support the therapeutic potential of the long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine regimen for patients ≥50 years of age.
Currently, injectable ART, in the form of cabotegravir + rilpivirine, is approved for use in the United States, Canada and Europe.