Antiviral research 2016 5 18() pii 10.1016/j.antiviral.2016.05.012
Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is a new oral prodrug of tenofovir (TFV) recently approved for the treatment of HIV-1 as part of the single-tablet regimen containing elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and TAF. Clinical dosing with TAF vs. tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) has shown improved bone and kidney safety, and has been associated with an increased concentration of the anti-HIV active moiety tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) in the PBMCs of treated patients and a reduction of TFV systemic exposure. We have studied the potential benefit of this increased concentration of TFV-DP observed clinically in an in vitro model system. Using a newly developed virus breakthrough assay with TAF exposure set at physiological concentrations, we show that HIV-1 clinical isolates harboring TFV resistance mutations such as K65R, 3 or 4 thymidine-analog mutations (TAMs), Q151M/K65R, or T69 insertion complex could be inhibited by TAF, but not by TFV when used at clinically relevant concentrations for TDF. These data suggest that the inhibitory quotient (IQ) of TAF is projected to be higher than the IQ of TDF, and that TAF has the potential to inhibit viruses containing TDF resistance in the clinic.