Mechanism of Action: Intracellularly, lamivudine is phosphorylated to its active 5’-triphosphate metabolite, lamivudine triphosphate (3TC-TP). The principal mode of action of 3TC-TP is the inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) via DNA chain termination after incorporation of the nucleotide analogue into viral DNA. 3TC-TP is a weak inhibitor of mammalian DNA polymerases α, β, and γ.
Antiviral Activity: The antiviral activity of lamivudine against HIV-l was assessed in a number of cell lines (including monocytes and fresh human peripheral blood lymphocytes) using standard susceptibility assays. EC50 values (50% effective concentrations) were in the range of 0.003 to 15µM (l µM = 0.23 mcg/mL). HIV-l from therapy-naive subjects with no amino acid substitutions associated with resistance gavemedian EC 50 values of 0.429 µM (range: 0.200 to 2.007 µM) from Virco (n = 92 baseline samples from COLA40263) and 2.35 µM (1.37 to 3.68 µM) from Monogram Biosciences (n = 135 baseline samples from ESS30009). The EC 50 values of lamivudine against different HIV-l clades (A-G) ranged from 0.001 to 0.120 µM, and against HIV-2 isolates from 0.003 to 0.120 µM in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Ribavirin (50 µM) decreased the anti-HIV-1 activity of lamivudine by 3.5 fold in MT-4 cells. In HIV-1- infected MT-4 cells, lamivudine in combination with zidovudine at various ratios exhibited synergistic antiretroviral activity. Please see the full prescribing information for EPIVIR-HBV for information regarding the inhibitory activity of lamivudine against HBV.
Resistance: Lamivudine-resistant variants of HIV-1 have been selected in cell culture. Genotypic analysis showed that the resistance was due to a specific amino acid substitution in the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase at codon 184 changing the methionine to either isoleucine or valine (M184V/I).
HIV-1 strains resistant to both lamivudine and zidovudine have been isolated from patients. Susceptibility of clinical isolates to lamivudine and zidovudine was monitored in controlled clinical trials. In patients receiving lamivudine monotherapy or combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine, HIV-1 isolates from most patients became phenotypically and genotypically resistant to lamivudine within 12 weeks. In some patients harboring zidovudine-resistant virus at baseline, phenotypic sensitivity to zidovudine was restored by 12 weeks of treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine. Combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine delayed the emergence of mutations conferring resistance to zidovudine.
Lamivudine-resistant HBV isolates develop substitutions (rtM204V/I) in the YMDD motif of the catalytic domain of the viral reverse transcriptase. rtM204V/I substitutions are frequently accompanied by other substitutions (rtV173L, rtL180M) which enhance the level of lamivudine resistance or act as compensatory mutations improving replication efficiency. Other substitutions detected in lamivudine-resistant HBV isolates include: rtL80I and rtA181T. Similar HBV mutants have been reported in HIV-1-infected patients who received lamivudine-containing antiretroviral regimens in the presence of concurrent infection with hepatitis B virus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Cross-Resistance: Lamivudine-resistant HIV-1 mutants were cross-resistant to didanosine (ddI) and zalcitabine (ddC). In some patients treated with zidovudine plus didanosine or zalcitabine, isolates resistant to multiple reverse transcriptase inhibitors, including lamivudine, have emerged.
Genotypic and Phenotypic Analysis of On-Therapy HIV-1 Isolates From Patients With Virologic Failure: Study EPV20001: Fifty-three of 554 (10%) patients enrolled in EPV20001 were identified as virological failures (plasma HIV-l RNA level ≥400 copies/mL) by Week 48. Twenty-eight patients were randomized to the lamivudine once-daily treatment group and 25 to the lamivudine twice-daily treatment group. The median baseline plasma HIV-l RNA levels of patients in the lamivudine once-daily group and lamivudine twice-daily group were 4.9 log10 copies/mL and 4.6 log10 copies/mL, respectively.
Genotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from 22 patients identified as virologic failures in the lamivudine once-daily group showed that isolates from 0/22 patients contained treatment-emergent amino acid substitutions associated with zidovudine resistance (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215Y/F, or K219Q/E), isolates from 10/22 patients contained treatment-emergent amino acid substitutions associated with efavirenz resistance (L100I, K101E, K103N, V108I, or Y181C), and isolates from 8/22 patients contained a treatment-emergent lamivudine resistance-associated substitution (M184I or M184V).
Genotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 22) in the lamivudine twice-daily treatment group showed that isolates from 1/22 patients contained treatment-emergent zidovudine resistance substitutions, isolates from 7/22 contained treatment-emergent efavirenz resistance substitutions, and isolates from 5/22 contained treatment-emergent lamivudine resistance substitutions.
Phenotypic analysis of baseline-matched on-therapy HIV-l isolates from patients (n =13) receiving lamivudine once daily showed that isolates from 12/13 patients were susceptible to zidovudine; isolates from 8/13 patients exhibited a 25- to 295-fold decrease in susceptibility to efavirenz, and isolates from 7/13 patients showed an 85- to 299-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine.
Phenotypic analysis of baseline-matched on-therapy HIV-1 isolates from patients (n=13) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that isolates from all 13 patients were susceptible to zidovudine; isolates from 3/13 patients exhibited a 21- to 342-fold decrease in susceptibility to efavirenz, and isolates from 4/13 patients exhibited a 29- to 159-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine.
Study EPV40001: Fifty patients received zidovudine 300 mg twice daily plus abacavir 300 mg twice daily plus lamivudine 300 mg once daily and 50 patients received zidovudine 300 mg plus abacavir 300 mg plus lamivudine 150 mg all twice daily. The median baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA levels for patients in the 2 groups were 4.79 log10 copies/mL and 4.83 log10 copies/mL, respectively. Fourteen of 50 patients in the lamivudine once-daily treatment group and 9 of 50 patients in the lamivudine twice-daily group were identified as virologic failures.
Genotypic analysis of on-therapy HIV-1 isolates from patients (n = 9) in the lamivudine once-daily treatment group showed that isolates from 6 patients had an abacavir and/or lamivudine resistance-associated substitution M184V alone. On-therapy isolates from patients (n = 6) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that isolates from 2 patients had M184 and isolates from 2 patients harbored the M184Vsubstitution in combination with zidovudine resistance-associated amino acid substitutions.
Phenotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 6) receiving lamivudine once daily showed that HIV-l isolates from 4 patients exhibited a 32- to
53-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine. HIV-1 isolates from these 6 patients were susceptible to zidovudine.
Phenotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 4) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that HIV-l isolates from 1 patient exhibited a 45-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine and a 4.5-fold decrease in susceptibility to zidovudine.
Long-term carcinogenicity studies with lamivudine in mice and rats showed no evidence of carcinogenic potential at exposures up to 10 times (mice) and 58 times (rats) those observed in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose for HIV-l infection. Lamivudine was not active in a microbial mutagenicity screen or an in vitro cell transformation assay, but showed weak in vitro mutagenic activity in a cytogenetic assay using cultured human lymphocytes and in the mouse lymphoma assay. However, lamivudine showed no evidence of in vivo genotoxic activity in the rat at oral doses of up to 2,000 mg/kg, producing plasma levels of 35 to 45 times those in humans at the recommended dose for HIV-l infection. In a study of reproductive performance, lamivudine administered to rats at doses up to 4,000 mg/kg/day, producing plasma levels 47 to 70 times those in humans, revealed no evidence of impaired fertility and no effect on the survival, growth, and development to weaning of the offspring.
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at orally administered doses up to 4,000 mg/kg/day and 1,000 mg/kg/day, respectively, producing plasma levels up to approximately 35 times that for the adult HIV dose. No evidence of teratogenicity due to lamivudine was observed. Evidence of early embryolethality was seen in the rabbit at exposure levels similar to those observed in humans, but there was no indication of this effect in the rat at exposure levels up to 35 times those in humans. Studies in pregnant rats and rabbits showed that lamivudine is transferred to the fetus through the placenta.
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