July 6, 2002
New Protease Inhibitor Has Added Benefits
BARCELONA— Atazanavir, a potent new HIV-fighting protease inhibitor, reduces high cholesterol and triglyceride levels that may be caused by other protease inhibitors, a Northwestern University researcher reported today at the XIV International AIDS Conference.
Although protease inhibitors have been shown to be safe and effective in treating HIV, they also are associated with elevated lipid levels, which in turn increase a patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease.
Robert L. Murphy, MD, professor of medicine at Northwestern University’sFeinberg School of Medicine, and colleagues showed that HIV-infected patients with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels caused by another protease inhibitor experienced a significant reduction in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol), and triglycerides, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) when they were switched to atazanavir.
“All other current protease inhibitors adversely affect lipid levels and therefore increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Atazanavir is unique in that it is taken once daily, has a favorable resistance profile, and, best of all, has no adverse effect on cholesterol and triglycerides,” Dr. Murphy said.
Dr. Murphy is the director of HIV/AIDS clinical research at Northwestern. His co-researchers were Alexandra Thiry, Marco Mancini and Michael Giordano, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wallingford, Connecticut.