COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Rilpivirine versus efavirenz with two background nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors in treatment-naive adults infected with HIV-1 (THRIVE): a phase 3, randomised, non-inferiority trial

Calvin J Cohen, Jaime Andrade-Villanueva, Bonaventura Clotet, Jan Fourie, Margaret A Johnson, Kiat Ruxrungtham, Hao Wu, Carmen Zorrilla, Herta Crauwels, Laurence T Rimsky, Simon Vanveggel, Katia Boven
Lancet 2011 July 16, 378 (9787): 229-37
21763935

BACKGROUND: The non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), rilpivirine (TMC278; Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, County Cork, Ireland), had equivalent sustained efficacy to efavirenz in a phase 2b trial in treatment-naive patients infected with HIV-1, but fewer adverse events. We aimed to assess non-inferiority of rilpivirine to efavirenz in a phase 3 trial with common background nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (N[t]RTIs).

METHODS: We undertook a 96-week, phase 3, randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, non-inferiority trial in 98 hospitals or medical centres in 21 countries. We enrolled adults (≥18 years) not previously given antiretroviral therapy and with a screening plasma viral load of 5000 copies per mL or more and viral sensitivity to background N(t)RTIs. We randomly allocated patients (1:1) using a computer-generated interactive web-response system to receive oral rilpivirine 25 mg once daily or efavirenz 600 mg once daily; all patients received an investigator-selected regimen of background N(t)RTIs (tenofovir-disoproxil-fumarate plus emtricitabine, zidovudine plus lamivudine, or abacavir plus lamivudine). The primary outcome was non-inferiority (12% margin on logistic regression analysis) at 48 weeks in terms of confirmed response (viral load <50 copies per mL, defined by the intent-to-treat time to loss of virologic response [TLOVR] algorithm) in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00543725.

FINDINGS: From May 22, 2008, we screened 947 patients and enrolled 340 to each group. 86% of patients (291 of 340) who received at least one dose of rilpivirine responded, compared with 82% of patients (276 of 338) who received at least one dose of efavirenz (difference 3.5% [95% CI -1.7 to 8.8]; p(non-inferiority)<0.0001). Increases in CD4 cell counts were much the same between groups. 7% of patients (24 of 340) receiving rilpivirine had a virological failure compared with 5% of patients (18 of 338) receiving efavirenz. 4% of patients (15) in the rilpivirine group and 7% (25) in the efavirenz group discontinued treatment due to adverse events. Grade 2-4 treatment-related adverse events were less common with rilpivirine (16% [54 patients]) than they were with efavirenz (31% [104]; p<0.0001), as were rash and dizziness (p<0.0001 for both) and increases in lipid levels were significantly lower with rilpivirine than they were with efavirenz (p<0.0001).

INTERPRETATION: Despite a slightly increased incidence of virological failures, a favourable safety profile and non-inferior efficacy compared with efavirenz means that rilpivirine could be a new treatment option for treatment-naive patients infected with HIV-1.

FUNDING: Tibotec.

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