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HIV Clin Trials. 2012 May-Jun;13(3):119-30. doi: 10.1310/hct1303-119.

A nucleoside- and ritonavir-sparing regimen containing atazanavir plus raltegravir in antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients: SPARTAN study results.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine and VA CT Healthcare System, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



Nucleoside and ritonavir (RTV) toxicities have led to increased interest in nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and RTV-sparing antiretroviral regimens. SPARTAN was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, noncomparative pilot study evaluating the efficacy, safety, and resistance profile of an investigational NRTI- and RTV-sparing regimen (experimental atazanavir [ATV] dose 300 mg bid + raltegravir [RAL] 400 mg bid [ATV+RAL]). The reference regimen consisted of ATV 300 mg/RTV 100 mg qd + tenofovir (TDF) 300 mg/emtricitabine (FTC) 200 mg qd (ATV/r+TDF/FTC).


Treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients with HIV-RNA ≥5,000 copies/mL were randomized 2:1 to receive twice-daily ATV+RAL (n=63) or once-daily ATV/r+TDF/FTC (n=31). Efficacy at 24 weeks was determined by confirmed virologic response (CVR; HIV-RNA <50 copies/mL) with noncom-pleters counted as failures based on all treated subjects.


The proportion of patients with CVR HIV RNA <50 copies/mL at week 24 was 74.6% (47/63) in the ATV+RAL arm and 63.3% (19/30) in the ATV/r+TDF/FTC arm. Systemic exposure to ATV in the ATV+RAL regimen was higher than historically observed with ATV/r+TDF/ FTC. Incidence of Grade 4 hyperbilirubinemia was higher on ATV+RAL (20.6%; 13/63) than on ATV/r+TDF/FTC (0%). The criteria for resistance testing (virologic failure [VF]: HIV-RNA ≥400 copies/mL) was met in 6/63 patients on ATV+RAL, and 1/30 on ATV/r+TDF/FTC; 4 VFs on ATV+RAL developed RAL resistance.


ATV+RAL, an experimental NRTI- and RTV-sparing regimen, achieved virologic suppression rates comparable to current standards of care for treatment-naïve patients. The overall profile did not appear optimal for further clinical development given its development of resistance to RAL and higher rates of hyperbilirubinemia with twice-daily ATV compared with ATV/RTV.

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