Saquinavir (Invirase)

Published January 25, 2001; Updated October 08, 2015
Susa Coffey, MD
Selected Reference
1. Mitsuyasu  RT, Skolnik  PR, Cohen  SR, Conway  B, Gill  MJ, Jensen  PC, Pulvirenti  JJ, Slater  LN, Schooley  RT, Thompson  MA, Torres  RA, Tsoukas  CM.
Activity of the soft gelatin formulation of saquinavir in combination therapy in antiretroviral-naive patients. NV15355 Study Team. AIDS. 1998 Jul;12(11):F103-9
[PubMed ID: 9708399]
OBJECTIVE: A Phase II, open-label, randomized, parallel-arm, multicentre trial to compare the antiviral activity and safety of two formulations of saquinavir (SQV), soft gelatin (SQV-SGC) and hard gelatin (SQV-HGC) capsules, in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), in antiretroviral-naive, HIV-1-infected individuals. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 171 people of > or = 13 years, with plasma HIV-1 RNA levels > or = 5000 copies/ml, who had received no protease inhibitor therapy, < or = 4 weeks NRTI therapy and no antiretroviral treatment within 28 days of screening. Eighty-one people were randomized to the SQV-HGC group and 90 to the SQV-SGC group. A total of 148 patients completed 16 weeks of therapy. INTERVENTION: Therapy for 16 weeks with either SQV-SGC 1200 mg or SQV-HGC 600 mg, both three times a day, in combination with two NRTI. RESULTS: Using an on-treatment analysis, patients taking SQV-SGC had a larger reduction in plasma HIV-1 RNA than those taking SQV-HGC (-2.0 versus -1.6 log10 copies/ml). Eighty per cent of those on SQV-SGC had < 400 copies HIV RNA/ml, compared with 43% in the SQV-HGC group (P = 0.001). A statistically significant difference in the area under the curve (AUC) values between the SQV-SGC and SQV-HGC arms (-1.7 versus -1.5 log10 copies/ml, respectively; P = 0.0054) was observed when withdrawals prior to week 12, major protocol violators and patients with < 75% compliance were excluded from the analysis; however, the difference between the values for the intent-to-treat population was not significant (P = 0.1929). Adverse events (mostly mild) included diarrhoea and nausea. CONCLUSIONS: SQV-SGC was generally well tolerated and gave significantly more potent suppression of plasma HIV-1 RNA in antiretroviral-naive patients than SQVHGC.