Mechanism of Action
Darunavir: Darunavir is an inhibitor of the HIV-1 protease. It selectively inhibits the cleavage of HIV-1 encoded Gag-Pol polyproteins in infected cells, thereby preventing the formation of mature virus particles.
Cobicistat: Cobicistat is a selective, mechanism-based inhibitor of cytochromes P450 of the CYP3A subfamily. Inhibition of CYP3A-mediated metabolism by cobicistat enhances the systemic exposure of CYP3A substrates.
Darunavir: Darunavir exhibits activity against laboratory strains and clinical isolates of HIV-1 and laboratory strains of HIV-2 in acutely infected T-cell lines, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and human monocytes/macrophages with median EC50 values ranging from 1.2 to 8.5 nM (0.7 to 5.0 ng/mL). Darunavir demonstrates antiviral activity in cell culture against a broad panel of HIV-1 group M (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), and group O primary isolates with EC50 values ranging from less than 0.1 to 4.3 nM. The EC50 value of darunavir increases by a median factor of 5.4 in the presence of human serum. Darunavir did not show antagonism when studied in combination with the HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) amprenavir, atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, or tipranavir, the N(t)RTIs abacavir, didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine, tenofovir, zalcitabine, or zidovudine, the NNRTIs delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, rilpivirine, or nevirapine, and the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide.
Cobicistat: Cobicistat does not inhibit recombinant HIV-1 protease in a biochemical assay and has no detectable antiviral activity in cell culture against HIV-1. The antiviral activity in cell culture of approved HIV-1 antiretroviral drugs was not antagonized by cobicistat.
Darunavir: HIV-1 isolates with a decreased susceptibility to darunavir have been selected in cell culture and obtained from subjects treated with darunavir co-administered with ritonavir. Darunavir-resistant virus derived in cell culture from wild-type HIV-1 had 21- to 88-fold decreased susceptibility to darunavir and developed 2 to 4 of the following amino acid substitutions S37D, R41E/T, K55Q, H69Q, K70E, T74S, V77I, or I85V in the protease. Selection in cell culture of darunavir resistant HIV-1 from nine HIV-1 strains harboring multiple PI resistance-associated substitutions resulted in the overall emergence of 22 mutations in the protease gene, coding for amino acid substitutions L10F, V11I, I13V, I15V, G16E, L23I, V32I, L33F, S37N, M46I, I47V, I50V, F53L, L63P, A71V, G73S, L76V, V82I, I84V, T91A/S, and Q92R, of which L10F, V32I, L33F, S37N, M46I, I47V, I50V, L63P, A71V, and I84V were the most prevalent. These darunavir-resistant viruses had at least eight protease substitutions and exhibited 50- to 641-fold decreases in darunavir susceptibility with final EC50 values ranging from 125 nM to 3461 nM.
The resistance profile of PREZCOBIX is driven by darunavir. Cobicistat does not select any HIV resistance substitutions, due to its lack of antiviral activity. For the clinical resistance profile of darunavir, refer to the darunavir full prescribing information.
Cross-resistance among PIs has been observed. Darunavir has a less than 10-fold decreased susceptibility in cell culture against 90% of 3309 clinical isolates resistant to amprenavir, atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, and/or tipranavir showing that viruses resistant to these PIs remain susceptible to darunavir. A less than 10-fold decreased susceptibility was observed for the other PIs in 26% to 96% of these PI resistant clinical isolates [nelfinavir (26%), ritonavir (34%), lopinavir (46%), indinavir (57%), atazanavir (59%), saquinavir (64%), amprenavir (70%), and tipranavir (96%)].
Cross-resistance between darunavir and nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, CCR5 co-receptor antagonists, or integrase strand transfer inhibitors is unlikely because the viral targets are different.
Baseline Genotype/Phenotype and Virologic Outcome Analyses
Baseline International AIDS Society (IAS)-defined PI resistance substitutions confer reduced virologic response to darunavir. Please refer to the “Baseline Genotype/Phenotype and Virologic Outcome Analyses” section in the darunavir full prescribing information.
Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis
Darunavir: Darunavir was evaluated for carcinogenic potential by oral gavage administration to mice and rats up to 104 weeks. Daily doses of 150, 450 and 1000 mg/kg were administered to mice and doses of 50, 150 and 500 mg/kg were administered to rats. A dose-related increase in the incidence of hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas was observed in males and females of both species and an increase in thyroid follicular cell adenomas was observed in male rats. The observed hepatocellular findings in rodents are considered to be of limited relevance to humans. Repeated administration of darunavir to rats caused hepatic microsomal enzyme induction and increased thyroid hormone elimination, which predispose rats but not humans, to thyroid neoplasms. At the highest tested doses, the systemic exposures to darunavir (based on AUC) were between 0.4- and 0.7-fold (mice) and 0.7- and 1-fold (rats) of exposures observed in humans at the recommended therapeutic doses (darunavir 600 mg co-administered with ritonavir 100 mg twice daily or darunavir 800 mg co-administered with ritonavir 100 mg once daily).
Darunavir was not mutagenic or genotoxic in a battery of in vitro and in vivo assays including bacterial reverse mutation (Ames), chromosomal aberration in human lymphocytes, and in vivo micronucleus test in mice.
Cobicistat: In a long-term carcinogenicity study in mice, no drug-related increases in tumor incidence were observed at doses up to 50 and 100 mg/kg/day in males and females, respectively. Cobicistat exposures at these doses were approximately 7 (male) and 16 (females) times, respectively, the human systemic exposure at the therapeutic daily dose. In a long-term carcinogenicity study of cobicistat in rats, an increased incidence of follicular cell adenomas and/or carcinomas in the thyroid gland was observed at doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg/day in males, and at 30 mg/kg/day in females. The follicular cell findings are considered to be rat-specific, secondary to hepatic microsomal enzyme induction and thyroid hormone imbalance, and are not relevant for humans. At the highest doses tested in the rat carcinogenicity study, systemic exposures were approximately 2 times the human systemic exposure at the therapeutic daily dose.
Cobicistat was not genotoxic in the reverse mutation bacterial test (Ames test), mouse lymphoma or rat micronucleus assays.
Impairment of Fertility
Darunavir: No effects on fertility or early embryonic development were observed with darunavir in rats.
Cobicistat: Cobicistat did not affect fertility in male or female rats at daily exposures (AUC) approximately 4-fold higher than human exposures at the recommended 150 mg daily dose.
Fertility was normal in the offspring of rats exposed daily from before birth (in utero) through sexual maturity at daily exposures (AUC) of approximately 1.2-fold higher than human exposures at the recommended 150 mg daily dose.
The efficacy of PREZCOBIX in adults with HIV-1 infection is based on efficacy demonstrated in clinical trials of darunavir co-administered with ritonavir [see darunavir full prescribing information].
Trial GS-US-216-0128 was a Phase 2/3 multicenter, open-label trial to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of darunavir co-administered with cobicistat in adolescents aged 12 years and older with HIV-1 infection who were virolgically suppressed and had a baseline estimated creatinine clearance ≥90 mL/min/1.73 m2. Subjects were on a stable antiretroviral regimen (for at least 3 months), consisting of darunavir administered with ritonavir, combined with 2 NRTIs. These subjects (N=7) were switched from ritonavir to cobicistat 150 mg once daily and continued darunavir and 2 NRTIs.
The median age of subjects was 14 years (range 12–16 years), median weight was 60 kg (range 45–78 kg), and 43% were male. At baseline, all subjects had plasma HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL. At Week 48, 86% (6/7) of subjects remained suppressed (HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL), and 1 subject had missing data. From a median baseline CD4+ cell count and CD4+% of 1,117 cells/mm3 (range 658 to 2,416 cells/mm3) and 45% (range 28% to 56%), respectively, the median change from baseline in CD4+ cell count and CD4+% at Week 48 was -342 cells/mm3 (range -1,389 to 219 cells/mm3) and -6% (range -12% to 5%), respectively. All 6 subjects with available data had CD4+ cell counts above 800 cells/mm3 at Week 48.
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