What is Prezista?
Darunavir (brand name Prezista, formerly known as TMC114) is a protease inhibitor drug used to treat HIV infection. Prezista is an OARAC recommended treatment option for treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced adults and adolescents. Developed by pharmaceutical company Tibotec, darunavir is named after Arun K. Ghosh, the chemistry professor who discovered the molecule at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 23, 2006.
Darunavir is a second-generation protease inhibitor (PIs), designed specifically to overcome problems with the older agents in this class, such as indinavir. Early PIs often have severe side effects and drug toxicities, require a high therapeutic dose, are costly to manufacture, and show a disturbing susceptibility to drug resistant mutations. Such mutations can develop in as little as a year of use, and effectively render the drugs useless.
Darunavir was designed to form robust interactions with the protease enzyme from many strains of HIV, including strains from treatment-experienced patients with multiple resistance mutations to PIs.
Darunavir received much attention at the time of its release, as it represents an important treatment option for patients with drug-resistant HIV. Patient advocacy groups pressured developer Tibotec not to follow the previous trend of releasing new drugs at prices higher than existing drugs in the same class. Darunavir was priced to match other common PIs already in use, such as the fixed-dose combination drug lopinavir/ritonavir.