SOFT GELATIN CAPSULES
FORTOVASE brand of saquinavir is an inhibitor of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease. FORTOVASE is available as beige, opaque, soft gelatin capsules for oral administration in a 200-mg strength (as saquinavir free base).
FORTOVASE is indicated for use in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV infection. This indication is based on studies that showed increased saquinavir concentrations and improved antiviral activity for FORTOVASE 1200 mg tid compared to INVIRASE 600 mg tid.
In treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients, the efficacy of FORTOVASE (with or without ritonavir coadministration) has not been compared against the efficacy of antiretroviral regimens currently considered standard of care.
When used in combination with other antiretroviral agents, FORTOVASE and INVIRASE have been shown to decrease plasma HIV RNA levels and increase CD4 cell counts in an open-label randomized study (NV15355) in treatment-naive, HIV-infected patients. In addition, in a randomized, double-blind study (NV14256) in ZDV-experienced, HIV-infected patients, a combination regimen of FORTOVASE and HIVID was shown to be superior to either INVIRASE or HIVID monotherapy in decreasing the cumulative incidence of clinical disease progression to AIDS-defining events or death. It should be noted that HIV treatment regimens that were used in the initial clinical studies of INVIRASE are no longer considered standard of care.
FORTOVASE 1000 mg bid coadministered with ritonavir 100 mg bid was studied in a heterogeneous population of 148 HIV infected patients (MaxCmin 1 study). At baseline 42 were treatment naive and 106 were treatment experienced (of which 52 had an HIV RNA level <400 copies/mL at baseline). Results showed that 91/148 (61%) subjects achieved and/or sustained and HIV RNA level <400 copies/mL at the completion of 48 weeks.
Study NV15182 was an open-label safety study of FORTOVASE in combination with other antiretroviral agents in HIV-infected patients. The 48-week safety results from this study are displayed in the ADVERSE REACTIONS section.
Media Articles Related to Fortovase (Saquinavir)
13,500 people living with an undiagnosed HIV infection in the UK
Source: HIV / AIDS News From Medical News Today [2016.12.02]
According to new figures released on World AIDS Day (WAD) by PHE, an estimated 101,200 people are living with HIV in the UK. Of these more than 13,500 are living with an undiagnosed infection.
'Shock and kill' strategy for curing HIV may endanger patients' brains
Source: HIV / AIDS News From Medical News Today [2016.12.07]
Combination drug treatments have become successful at long-term control of HIV infection, but the goal of totally wiping out the virus and curing patients has so far been stymied by HIV's ability...
Patients with HIV now live about as long as their uninfected peers
Source: HIV / AIDS News From Medical News Today [2016.11.15]
Patients receiving optimal care for HIV infection can expect to live about as long as those who are uninfected, according to an updated analysis being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Published Studies Related to Fortovase (Saquinavir)
Bioequivalence study of two oral tablet formulations containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in healthy volunteers. 
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF, CAS 147127-20-6) is a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor which is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the management of HIV-1 infection. The objective of this study was to compare the rate and extent of absorption and to assess the bioequivalence between a new pharmaceutical equivalent tablet formulation containing 300 mg of TDF and the innovator product...
Saquinavir/ritonavir monotherapy as a new nucleoside-sparing maintenance strategy in long-term virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients. [2010.09.01]
BACKGROUND: The high antiviral potency and low toxicity of saquinavir/ritonavir (SQV/r) prompted us to assess a viable strategy in chronic virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients... CONCLUSION: SQV/r as monotherapy has proven to be a valid, safe, and economical option for virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients, especially in those who experience intolerance or toxicity with nucleoside analogs.
Gemini: a noninferiority study of saquinavir/ritonavir versus lopinavir/ritonavir as initial HIV-1 therapy in adults. [2009.04.01]
INTRODUCTION:: Direct comparison of the efficacy and safety of different agents is needed to guide selection of optimal treatment regimens for therapy-naive HIV-1-infected patients... CONCLUSIONS:: In treatment-naive, HIV-1-infected patients, SQV/r treatment was noninferior in virologic suppression at 48 weeks to LPV/r treatment and offered a better triglyceride profile.
Pharmacokinetics and safety of saquinavir/ritonavir and omeprazole in HIV-infected subjects. [2008.06]
We investigated the pharmacokinetics and safety of saquinavir/ritonavir when administered with omeprazole simultaneously and 2 h apart to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) subjects. Saquinavir/ritonavir 12-h pharmacokinetics was assessed with and without omeprazole 40 mg... In the presence of omeprazole, saquinavir plasma exposure is significantly increased in HIV-infected subjects whether administered simultaneously or 2 h apart.
Long-term efficacy and safety of first-line therapy with once-daily saquinavir/ritonavir. 
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of first-line treatment with once-daily saquinavir/ritonavir plus two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)... CONCLUSION: First-line highly active antiretroviral therapy with once-daily saquinavir/ritonavir plus two NRTIs showed strong antiviral efficacy.
Clinical Trials Related to Fortovase (Saquinavir)
Lopinavir Capsules to Kaletra or Invirase Tablets [Completed]
This study will compare the benefit for patients switching from KaletraŽ to InviraseŽ
tablets over remaining on KaletraŽ (based on randomization), to elicit the lipid benefits
inferred in previous studies
Saquinavir/Ritonavir in Single Therapy as Maintenance Treatment [Completed]
Study the efficacy of Saquinavir/Ritonavir when given in single therapy as maintenance
therapy, compared to standard HAART therapies.
Bioequivalence Study of Generic GPO Saquinavir and NorvirŽ Versus InviraseŽ and NorvirŽ [Withdrawn]
The previous two studies of generic GPO saquinavir failed to prove bioequivalence. In this
study the bio-equivalence will be investigated in healthy Thai volunteers, to see whether
the generic GPO saquinavir shows bioequivalence when boosted with NorvirŽ. If the generic
formulation is bioequivalent subsequent studies may follow in HIV-1 positive patients.
Safety and Effectiveness of Adding Saquinavir (FORTOVASE) in Soft Gel Capsule Form to an Anti-HIV Drug Combination in HIV-Infected Patients [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to see if it is safe and effective to give saquinavir (as a
soft gel capsule taken by mouth) along with 2 other anti-HIV drugs to HIV-infected patients.
GEMINI Study - A Study of Saquinavir/Ritonavir in Treatment-Naive Patients With HIV-1 Infection [Completed]
This 2 arm study will evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of saquinavir/ritonavir
or lopinavir/ritonavir in combination with emtricitabine/tenofovir in patients with human
immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection who have received no prior HIV treatment.
Patients will be randomized to receive either saquinavir/ritonavir 1000/100mg oral (po)
twice daily (bid) + emtricitabine/tenofovir 200/300mg po once daily (qd), or
lopinavir/ritonavir 400/100mg po bid + emtricitabine/tenofovir 200/300mg po qd. The
anticipated time on study treatment is 3-12 months, and the target sample size is 100-500