The US Department of Health and Human Services has updated its HIV treatment guidelines to endorse the use of Swiss drug major Roche and US group Trimeris’ entry inhibitor Fuzeon (enfuvirtide), in combination with an active boosted protease inhibitor, for the management of patients already receiving treatment for the disease.

The new guidelines have raised the therapy goal from achieving a significant reduction in viral load to attaining undetectable levels of HIV in triple-class experienced patients who are exhibiting some drug resistance but who still have treatment options available to them.

“These guidelines clearly set more ambitious goals for the management of treatment-experienced patients now that we have potent therapies such as the combination of tipranavir and enfuvirtide,” commented Dr Anton Pozniak from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. He added: “These guidelines provide real clarity and much needed direction on how to best care for pre-treated patients.”

According to the companies, the DHHS recommendation is the direct result of mounting evidence illustrating the powerful action of Fuzeon, as observed in six clinical studies involving over 2,500 participants. Clinical assessment has revealed that adding the drug and a boosted protease inhibitor, such as Abbott’s Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) or Boehringer Ingelheim’s Aptivus (tipranavir/ritonavir), to treatment regimens almost doubled the number of patients reaching undetectable levels of the virus.