Drugs

Peginterferon Alfa-2a (HIV)

Peginterferon Alfa-2a (HIV)

Other Names: PEG-interferon alfa-2a (HIV), Pegasys (HIV), pegIFN alfa-2a (HIV), pegylated-interferon alfa 2a (HIV) Drug Class: Immune Modulators Registry Number: 198153-51-4 (CAS) Chemical Name: Interferon alphaA (human leukocyte), mono(N2,N6-dicarboxy-L-lysyl)deriv., diester with alpha-methyl-omega-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) Chemical Class: Recombinant interferon Organization: Hoffman-La Roche Phase of Development: Peginterferon alfa-2a is in Phase II development for HIV treatment.

(Compound details obtained from ChemIDplus Advanced,1 NIAID Therapeutics Database,2 Pegasys Full Prescribing Information,3 and ClinicalTrials.gov4

What is peginterferon alfa-2a?

What is peginterferon alfa-2a?

Peginterferon alfa-2a (brand name: Pegasys) is a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection and chronic hepatitis C virus infection.3 It is also being studied as an investigational drug to treat HIV infection.

As an investigational HIV drug, peginterferon alfa-2a belongs to a group of drugs called immune modulators.2 Immune modulators (also called immunomodulators) are substances that help to activate, boost, or restore normal immune function. Researchers are trying to find out whether using peginterferon alfa-2a in combination with other drugs can help reduce the latent HIV reservoir.

To learn about how investigational drugs are tested during clinical trials, read the AIDSinfo What is an Investigational HIV Drug? and HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials fact sheets.

Which clinical trials are studying peginterferon alfa-2a?

Which clinical trials are studying peginterferon alfa-2a?

Study Names: ACTG A5192; NCT00078442
Phase: II
Status: This study has been completed.
Location: United States
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and antiviral activity of peginterferon alfa-2a when this drug is taken without any other HIV medicines (also called monotherapy).5

Study Name: NCT00594880
Phase: II
Status: This study has been completed.
Location: United States
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and antiviral activity of two different doses of peginterferon alfa-2a.4

Study Names: ACTIVATE; NCT02471430
Phase: I/II
Status: This study is currently recruiting participants.
Location: United States
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether using a combination of the drug panobinostat (brand name: Farydak) and peginterferon alfa-2a can reduce the latent HIV reservoir.6

For more details on the studies listed above, see the Health Professional version of this drug summary.

What side effects might peginterferon alfa-2a cause?

What side effects might peginterferon alfa-2a cause?

One goal of HIV research is to identify new drugs that have fewer side effects. The following side effects were observed in some of the studies of peginterferon alfa-2a listed above.

ACTG A5192 (NCT00078442):

In this Phase II study, the most common side effects that were related (or possibly related) to peginterferon alfa-2a were fatigue and mild to moderate decreases in the number of neutrophils, a type of infection-fighting immune cell. One participant experienced moderately severe treatment-related depression.5,7

NCT00594880:

In this Phase II study, which evaluated peginterferon alfa-2a at two different doses, participants' CD4 count levels decreased during the first 5 weeks of peginterferon alfa-2a treatment, but then remained stable throughout the rest of the study. No participants stopped peginterferon alfa-2a treatment because of a drop in CD4 count.8

Because peginterferon alfa-2a is still being studied, information on possible side effects of the drug is not complete. As testing of peginterferon alfa-2a continues, additional information on possible side effects will be gathered.

Where can I get more information about clinical trials studying peginterferon alfa-2a?

Where can I get more information about clinical trials studying peginterferon alfa-2a?

More information about peginterferon alfa-2a-related research studies is available from the AIDSinfo database of ClinicalTrials.gov study summaries. Click on the title of any trial in the list to see the ClinicalTrials.gov trial summary and more information about the study.

Some clinical trials may be looking for volunteer participants. Your health care provider can help you decide whether participating in a clinical trial is right for you. For more information, visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You.

References

References

  1. United States National Library of Medicine. ChemIDplus Advanced: Peginterferon Alfa-2a. https://chem.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/rn/198153-51-4. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  2. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). NIAID ChemDB, HIV Drugs in Development. https://chemdb.niaid.nih.gov/DrugDevelopmentHIV.aspx. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  3. Genentech, Inc. Pegasys: full prescribing information, June 26, 2018. DailyMed. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=de61685e-2b8c-4e22-84bb-869e13600440. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  4. The Wistar Institute. Antiviral activity of peg-IFN-alpha-2A in chronic HIV-1 infection. In: ClinicalTrials.gov. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). Registered on January 4, 2008. NLM Identifier: NCT00594880. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00594880. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  5. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). A Phase II open-label pilot trial of the antiretroviral activity, safety, and tolerability of pegylated interferon alfa-2a (40KD) [PegasysTM] in HIV-1 infected subjects. In: ClinicalTrials.gov. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). Registered on February 25, 2004. NLM Identifier: NCT00078442. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00078442. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  6. Massachusetts General Hospital. A Phase I-II pilot study to assess the safety and efficacy of combined administration with pegylated interferon-alpha2a and the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) panobinostat for reducing the residual reservoir of HIV-1 infected cells in cART-treated HIV-1 positive individuals. In: ClinicalTrials.gov. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). Registered on June 11, 2015. NLM Identifier: NCT02471430. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02471430. Accessed April 30, 2019.
  7. Asmuth DM, Murphy RL, Rosenkranz SL, et al. Safety, tolerability and mechanisms of antiretroviral activity of peginterferon alfa-2a in HIV-1-mono-infected subjects: a Phase II clinical trial. J Infect Dis. 2010;201(11):1686–1696.
  8. Azzoni L, Foulkes AS, Papasavvas E, et al. Pegylated interferon alfa-2a monotherapy results in suppression of HIV type 1 replication and decreased cell-associated HIV DNA integration. J Infect Dis. 2013;207(2):213-222. doi:10.1093/infdis/jis663

Last Reviewed: April 30, 2019

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