Around 35.3 million people worldwide have been infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) with thousands more being infected every year. While immunotherapy drugs have turned this disease from a death sentence to a manageable condition, not all available drugs are effective for all patients as some have been infected by drug resistant variants of the virus.
Dolutegravir is the latest second-generation integrase strand transfer inhibitor approved by the FDA and it has demonstrated impressive anti HIV efficacy. This drug inhibits HIV-1 integrase, an essential protein for the replication of the virus inside the host’s cells. Dolutegravir quickly reduces levels of HIV virus in the body and causes fewer side effects than other medications. It is useful both for treatment-naïve patients (those who have not taken any type of HIV therapy) and treatment-experienced patients (those who have) but it showed superiority in comparison to other treatments for treatment-naïve adults and adolescents. Dolutegravir is used in combination with two other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Dolutegravir is commercialized in the US as Tivicay and was approved by the FDA in August 2013. It was approved by the European Commission in January 2014 for use in the European Union and it was approved by COFEPRIS in March 2015.