Week 48 Resistance Analyses of the Once-Daily, Single-Tablet Regimen Darunavir/Cobicistat/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide (D/C/F/TAF) in Adults Living with HIV-1 from the Phase III Randomized AMBER and EMERALD Trials

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2020 Jan;36(1):48-57. doi: 10.1089/AID.2019.0111. Epub 2019 Oct 21.


Darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (D/C/F/TAF) 800/150/200/10 mg is being investigated in two Phase III trials, AMBER (NCT02431247; treatment-naive adults) and EMERALD (NCT02269917; treatment-experienced, virologically suppressed adults). Week 48 AMBER and EMERALD resistance analyses are presented. Postbaseline samples for genotyping/phenotyping were analyzed from protocol-defined virologic failures (PDVFs) with viral load (VL) ≥400 copies/mL at failure/later time points. Post hoc analyses were deep sequencing in AMBER, and HIV-1 proviral DNA from baseline samples (VL <50 copies/mL) in EMERALD. Through week 48 across both studies, no darunavir, primary PI, or tenofovir resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) were observed in HIV-1 viruses of 1,125 participants receiving D/C/F/TAF or 629 receiving boosted darunavir plus emtricitabine/tenofovir-disoproxil-fumarate. In AMBER, the nucleos(t)ide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (N(t)RTI) RAM M184I/V was identified in HIV-1 of one participant during D/C/F/TAF treatment. M184V was detected pretreatment as a minority variant (9%). In EMERALD, in participants with prior VF and genoarchive data (N = 140; 98 D/C/F/TAF and 42 control), 4% had viruses with darunavir RAMs, 38% with emtricitabine RAMs, mainly at position 184 (41% not fully susceptible to emtricitabine), 4% with tenofovir RAMs, and 21% ≥ 3 thymidine analog-associated mutations (24% not fully susceptible to tenofovir) detected at screening. All achieved VL <50 copies/mL at week 48 or prior discontinuation. D/C/F/TAF has a high genetic barrier to resistance; no darunavir, primary PI, or tenofovir RAMs were observed through 48 weeks in AMBER and EMERALD. Only one postbaseline M184I/V RAM was observed in HIV-1 of an AMBER participant. In EMERALD, baseline archived RAMs to darunavir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir in participants with prior VF did not preclude virologic response.

Keywords: archived RAMs; darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/TAF; deep sequencing; efficacy; resistance; single-tablet regimen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / administration & dosage
  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Cobicistat / administration & dosage*
  • Darunavir / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Resistance, Viral*
  • Emtricitabine / administration & dosage*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Tablets / administration & dosage
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Tablets
  • tenofovir alafenamide
  • Emtricitabine
  • Adenine
  • Cobicistat
  • Darunavir

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02431247
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02269917