Printer Friendly

NEW WELLCOME PCP MEDICATION MAY OFFER TREATMENT OPTION FOR AIDS PATIENTS

NEW WELLCOME PCP MEDICATION MAY OFFER TREATMENT OPTION FOR AIDS PATIENTS
 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A new medication, atovaquone (566C80), shows promise as a therapy option for certain individuals with a common opportunistic infection experienced by AIDS patients and may be better tolerated than current medications, according to research presented today at the VIIIth International Conference on AIDS.
 The results of a Phase II/III trial which compared atovaquone to the standard therapy trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) as a treatment for individuals with mild to moderate Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) were presented by Dr. Walter T. Hughes, chairman of the department of infectious diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
 PCP is the most common and frequently the first opportunistic infection to develop in people with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. It affects more than 80 percent of people with AIDS during the course of their disease, and is a leading cause of death among people with AIDS.
 PCP can be effectively treated orally with TMP/SMX. However, many people with AIDS cannot take this medication because they experience significant side effects including rashes, lowered white blood cell counts (neutorpenia), fever, nausea and vomiting. Atovaquone is an investigational antiparasitic drug being developed as a treatment for PCP by the Wellcome Foundation in Europe and Burroughs Wellcome Co. in North America.
 Hughes presented data on the largest controlled trial of the treatment of PCP to date. The trial involved more than 400 patients at 39 sites throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Patients were evaluated for their response to therapy and the occurrence of side effects.
 Sixty-three percent of the 226 patients with mild PCP in each of the two groups, atovaquone and TMP/SMX, met the criteria for therapeutic success. There was an inadequate therapeutic response in 18 percent of the atovaquone patients and in seven percent of the TMP/SMX patients. However, 19 percent of those treated with TMP/SMX experienced serious adverse side effects that required premature discontinuation of therapy. In contrast, only six percent of those treated with atovaquone experienced treatment-limiting side effects.
 Similar responses occurred in the moderately severe group with therapeutic success in 59 percent of 49 patients and 66 percent of 47 patients receiving atovaquone and TMP/SMX, respectively. About 23 percent of the TMP/SMX group experienced treatment-limiting side effects vs. eight percent of the atovaquone group.
 The most common side effects found in patients who have received atovaquone, to date, are headache, nausea, diarrhea, rash, vomiting, fever and elevated liver enzymes. These are usually mild and do not require interruption of treatment. Patients who experienced diarrhea during the week prior to initiation of atovaquone therapy had poorer outcomes than those receiving TMP/SMX, possibly reflecting poor bioavailability and low plasma levels. It is recommended, therefore, that alternative therapies be considered for patients who have experienced diarrhea during this period.
 Since November 1991, atovaquone has been available in the United States under a Treatment IND and in the rest of the world on a named patient basis to individuals who have mild to moderate PCP and a history of intolerance to TMP/SMX or other sulfonamide-containing drugs or an inadequate response to TMP/SMX therapy. Patients with severe PCP who are intolerant or unresponsive to current therapies (TMP/SMX and parenteral pentamidine) have access to the medication through an open- label protocol. To date, more than 650 individuals have received atovaquone from Wellcome, at no cost, through these two mechanisms.
 The Treatment IND is a Food and Drug Administration mechanism permitting a pharmaceutical company, prior to release for marketing, to make a potentially lifesaving drug available to certain patients who are likely to benefit from its use and for whom no satisfactory treatment alternative exists. A compassionate release program following similar criteria is in place outside North America.
 U.S. physicians who are interested in enrolling a patient in the
Atovaquone Treatment IND can call 1-800-755-2020. Elsewhere, clinicians should contact their local Wellcome Company.
 Atovaquone, originally synthesized by the Wellcome Research Laboratories in England as an antimalarial, has been under clinical development as a treatment for PCP since 1989. It is also under investigation as a treatment for toxoplasmosis.
 -0- 7/22/92/0001
 /CONTACT: Kathy Bartlett (in Amsterdam), 31 20 678 7111, or Sharon Bickus, 919-248-8611, both of Burroughs Wellcome Co./ CO: Burroughs Wellcome Co.; The Wellcome Foundation ST: North Carolina IN: MTC SU: PDT


CM -- CH008 -- 1617 07/21/92 19:15 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1992
Words:749
Previous Article:MAPCO REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS
Next Article:MARVIN S. SHAPIRO NAMED IRELL & MANELLA MANAGING PARTNER
Topics:


Related Articles
FIRST COMBINATION REGIMEN OF HIV DRUGS CLEARED BY FDA
FDA ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF ATOVAQOUNE AS TREATMENT FOR PCP
SAFETY PROFILE OF NEW ANTI-PNEUMOCYSTIS DRUG GIVEN BOOST BY DATA PRESENTED AT IX INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE
NEUTREXIN (TRIMETREXATE GLUCURONATE): AVAILABLE UNDER U.S. BIOSCIENCE TREATMENT IND
HIVID (ZALCITABINE) AVAILABLE AS MONOTHERAPY FOR HIV INFECTION
NEW WELLCOME ANTIVIRAL COMPOUND SHOWS PROMISE AS ANTI-HIV AGENT
PROMISING PRECLINICAL DATA ON VERTEX WELLCOME HIV PROTEASE INHIBITOR PRESENTED
EXCITING RESULTS WITH MERCK'S CRIXIVAN(R) COULD CHANGE THE WAY DOCTORS TREAT HIV DISEASE AND AIDS
Latest Clinical, Socioeconomic Data on Migraine Medications Presented by Glaxo Wellcome at Scientific Meeting
CHINESE SFDA GRANTS IMMTECH FAST TRACK STATUS.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters