Real-world trough concentrations and effectiveness of long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine: a multicenter prospective observational study in Switzerland

Thoueille, Paul; Saldanha, Susana Alves; Schaller, Fabian; Choong, Eva; Munting, Aline; Cavassini, Matthias; Braun, Dominique; Günthard, Huldrych F.; Kusejko, Katharina; Surial, Bernard; Furrer, Hansjakob; Rauch, Andri; Rougemont, Mathieu; Ustero, Pilar; Calmy, Alexandra; Stöckle, Marcel; Marzolini, Catia; Di Benedetto, Caroline; Bernasconi, Enos; Schmid, Patrick; ... (2024). Real-world trough concentrations and effectiveness of long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine: a multicenter prospective observational study in Switzerland. The Lancet regional health. Europe, 36, p. 100793. Elsevier 10.1016/j.lanepe.2023.100793

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The efficacy and tolerability of long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine were demonstrated in Phase III trials. However, low concentrations combined with other risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of virologic failure. This study aims to verify whether drug concentrations measured in a real-world setting are consistent with those previously reported.

SHCS-879 is a nationwide observational study within the Swiss HIV Cohort Study for the monitoring of people with HIV (PWH) on long-acting cabotegravir plus rilpivirine. Samples were collected from March 2022 to March 2023.

Overall, 725 samples were obtained from 186 PWH. Our data show a large inter-individual variability in cabotegravir and rilpivirine concentrations, with some individuals exhibiting repeatedly low concentrations. Rilpivirine trough concentrations were consistent with those from Phase III trials, while cabotegravir concentrations were lower. The first concentrations quartile was only slightly above the target of 664 ng/mL. Exploratory statistical analyses found 35% (p < 0·01) lower cabotegravir trough in males compared to females. Overall, 172 PWH (92%) remained suppressed and three experienced virologic failures (1·6%), of those, two had sub-optimal drug exposure. No association was found between low trough levels and detectable viral load.

Real-world cabotegravir concentrations are substantially lower than previously reported. However, these concentrations appear sufficient to ensure sustained virological suppression in almost every PWH. These reassuring data challenge the rather conservative thresholds adopted to date, which may raise unnecessary concerns. Yet, our study reveals that some PWH have repeatedly very low drug levels, for reasons that remain to be elucidated.

This work was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, grant number N◦ 324730_192449. This study received no support from pharmaceutical industries. This study was performed within the framework of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant #201369), by SHCS project #879, and by the SHCS research foundation. The SHCS data were gathered by the Five Swiss University Hospitals, two Cantonal Hospitals, 15 affiliated hospitals and 36 private physicians (listed in

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Surial, Bernard, Furrer, Hansjakob, Rauch, Andri


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

14 Dec 2023 08:30

Last Modified:

17 Dec 2023 02:33

Publisher DOI:





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