Week 96 subgroup analyses of the phase 3, randomized AMBER and EMERALD trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of the once daily darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (D/C/F/TAF) single-tablet regimen in antiretroviral treatment (ART)-naïve and -experienced, virologically-suppressed adults living with HIV-1

HIV Res Clin Pract. 2020 Dec;21(6):151-167. doi: 10.1080/25787489.2020.1844520. Epub 2021 Feb 2.


Background: Darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (D/C/F/TAF) 800/150/200/10 mg was investigated in AMBER (treatment-naïve adults; NCT02431247) and EMERALD (treatment-experienced, virologically-suppressed adults; NCT02269917).

Objective: To describe a Week 96 pre-planned subgroup analysis of D/C/F/TAF arms by demographic characteristics (age ≤/>50 years, gender, black/non-black race), and baseline clinical characteristics (AMBER: viral load [VL], CD4+ count, WHO clinical stage, HIV-1 subtype and antiretroviral resistance; EMERALD: prior virologic failure [VF], antiretroviral experience, screening boosted protease inhibitor [PI], and boosting agent).

Methods: Patients in D/C/F/TAF and control arms could continue on/switch to D/C/F/TAF in a single-arm, open-label extension phase after Week 48 until Week 96. Efficacy endpoints were percentage cumulative confirmed VL ≥50 copies/mL (virologic rebound; EMERALD), and VL <50 (virologic response), or ≥50 copies/mL (VF) (FDA snapshot; both trials).

Results: D/C/F/TAF demonstrated high Week 96 virologic responses (AMBER: 85% [308/362]; EMERALD: 91% [692/763]) and low VF rates (AMBER: 6% [20/362]; EMERALD: 1% [9/763]). In EMERALD, D/C/F/TAF showed low virologic rebound cumulative through Week 96 (3% [24/763]). Results were consistent across subgroups, including prior antiretroviral experience in EMERALD. No darunavir, primary PI, or tenofovir resistance-associated mutations were observed post-baseline. Study-drug-related serious adverse events (AEs) and AE-related discontinuations were <1% and 2%, respectively (both D/C/F/TAF arms), and similar across subgroups. eGFRcyst and bone mineral density improved or were stable and lipids increased through Week 96 across demographic subgroups, with small changes in total-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio.

Conclusions: D/C/F/TAF was effective with a high barrier to resistance and bone/renal safety benefits, regardless of demographic or clinical characteristics for treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced, virologically-suppressed adults.

Keywords: D/C/F/TAF; HIV-1; Phase III; darunavir; single-tablet regimen; subgroup analysis; tenofovir alafenamide.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02269917