PENTA 20 (Odyssey)


Mar, 2021

Because we all have to grow up”: supporting adolescents in Uganda to develop core competencies to transition towards managing their HIV more independently


Authors: Chloe Lanyon, Janet Seeley, Stella Namukwaya, Victor Musiime, Sara Paparini, Helen Nakyambadde, Christine Matama, Anna Turkova, Sarah Bernays


Published in: Journal of International Aids Society



Introduction: Sustaining optimal adherence is the major challenge facing adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV), particularly in low-resource settings, where “second-line” is often the last accessible treatment option. We explored the knowledge and skills adolescents need in order to maintain improved adherence behaviours, and the specific ways clinicians and caregivers may support young people to do so more independently.

Methods: We conducted individual, in-depth interviews with 20 ALHIV aged 10 to 18 years in Uganda in 2017 to 2018. All participants had recently commenced second-line treatment as part of a clinical trial. We used thematic qualitative analysis to examine adherence experiences and challenges while on first-line therapy, as well as specific supports necessary to optimise treatment-taking longer-term.

Results: Adherence difficulties are exacerbated by relatively rapid shifts from caregiver-led approaches during childhood, to an expectation of autonomous treatment-taking with onset of adolescence. For many participants this shift compounded their ongoing struggles managing physical side effects and poor treatment literacy. Switching to second-line typically prompted reversion back to supervised adherence, with positive impacts on self-reported adherence in the immediate term. However, this measure is unlikely to be sustainable for caregivers due to significant caregiver burden (as on first line), and provided little opportunity for clinicians to guide and develop young people’s capacity to successfully adopt responsibility for their own treatment-taking.

Conclusions: As ALHIV in sub-Saharan Africa are attributed increasing responsibility for treatment adherence and HIV management, they must be equipped with the core knowledge and skills required for successful, self-directed care. Young people need to be relationally supported to develop necessary “adherence competencies” within the supportive framework of a gradual “transition” period. Clinic conversations during this period should be adolescent-focussed and collaborative, and treatment-taking strategies situated within the context of their lived environments and support networks, to facilitate sustained adherence. The disclosure of adherence difficulties must be encouraged so that issues can be identified and addressed prior to treatment failure.

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Mar, 2021



Authors: Anna Turkova1, for the ODYSSEY/PENTA-20 Trial Team

Published in: CROI 2021


Abstract: ODYSSEY is an international multi-centre randomised non-inferiority trial evaluating dolutegravir (DTG) + 2NRTIs versus standard-of-care (SOC) in children starting rst- or second-line ART.

Methods: The primary outcome is a Kaplan-Meier estimated proportion of treatment failure dened as conrmed viral load (VL) ≥400c/mL after week 36, lack of virological response by 24 weeks with ART switch, death or new/recurrent WHO4/severe WHO3 event by 96 weeks. Non-inferiority margin is 10% (12% for rst-/second-line subgroups).

Results: 707 children ≥14kg were randomised (Uganda 47%, Zimbabwe 21%, South Africa 20%, Thailand 9%, Europe 4%); 350 to DTG; 357 to SOC. Median (range) age was 12.2 years (2.9-18); weight 31kg (14-85); 51% male. 311 children started rst-line (92% efavirenz among SOC); 396 second-line (72% lopinavir/ritonavir, 25% atazanavir/ritonavir among SOC). Median follow-up was 142 weeks; 687 (97%) reached the primary endpoint or were seen on/after 96 weeks. 48 (14%) DTG vs 75 (22%) SOC had treatment failure by 96 weeks; difference (95% CI) –7.7% (-13.2, -2.3); p=0.006. 40 vs 67 were virological failures and 8 vs 8 were WHO3/4 events/death. Treatment effects were similar in rst- and second-line, with no evidence of heterogeneity (p=0.20; g). 13 (4%) children randomised to DTG changed regimen during follow-up vs 32 (9%) SOC (excluding NRTI changes and changes for growth, simplication, guideline change, stock-out) (p=0.004); 2 vs 21 changes were for treatment failure. At 48 and 96 weeks, proportion with cross-sectional VL<50c/mL and change in CD4 count from baseline were similar between arms. There were 65 SAEs (35 children) in DTG versus 46 (42) in SOC (p=0.45), including 2 vs. 3 deaths; 119 (73 children) grade ≥3 adverse events in DTG vs 135 (88) in SOC (p=0.23). At week 96, mean change in total cholesterol from baseline was -5 mg/dL (95% CI -8,-2) in DTG versus 10 mg/dL (7,13) in SOC (difference (DTG-SOC) -15 (-19,-11); p<0.001). Weight, height and BMI increased marginally more in DTG than SOC (differences (SE) between arms 1kg (0.4), 0.7cm (0.3), 0.3kg/m2 (0.1) respectively at 96 weeks).

Conclusion: DTG-based ART was superior to SOC based on treatment failure by 96 weeks in children/adolescents starting rst- or second-line. There were no safety concerns on DTG. These results support WHO guidelines which recommend DTG-based regimens as preferred ART for children ≥14kg starting rst- or second-line ART, allowing harmonisation with adult treatment programmes.

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Feb, 2021

ODYSSEY clinical trial design: a randomised global study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive children, with nested pharmacokinetic sub-studies to evaluate pragmatic WHO-weight-band based dolutegravir dosing

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Authors: Cecilia L. Moore, Anna Turkova , Hilda Mujuru , Adeodata Kekitiinwa, Abbas Lugemwa, Cissy M. Kityo, Linda N. Barlow-Mosha, et al, ODYSSEY trial team

Published in: BMC Infectious Diseases


Background: Dolutegravir (DTG)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) is highly effective and well-tolerated in adults and is rapidly being adopted globally. We describe the design of the ODYSSEY trial which evaluates the efficacy and safety of DTG-based ART compared with standard-of-care in children and adolescents. The ODYSSEY trial includes nested pharmacokinetic (PK) sub-studies which evaluated pragmatic World Health Organization (WHO) weight-band-based DTG dosing and opened recruitment to children < 14 kg while dosing was in development.

Methods: ODYSSEY (Once-daily DTG based ART in Young people vS. Standard thErapY) is an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority, basket trial comparing the efficacy and safety of DTG + 2 nucleos(t) ides (NRTIs) versus standard-of-care (SOC) in HIV-infected children < 18 years starting first-line ART (ODYSSEY A) or switching to second-line ART (ODYSSEY B). The primary endpoint is clinical or virological failure by 96 weeks.

Results: Between September 2016 and June 2018, 707 children weighing ≥14 kg were enrolled; including 311 ARTnaïve children and 396 children starting second-line. 47% of children were enrolled in Uganda, 21% Zimbabwe, 20% South Africa, 9% Thailand, 4% Europe. 362 (51%) participants were male; median age [range] at enrolment was 12.2 years [2.9–18.0]. 82 (12%) children weighed 14 to < 20 kg, 135 (19%) 20 to < 25 kg, 206 (29%) 25 to < 35 kg, 284 (40%) ≥35 kg. 128 (18%) had WHO stage 3 and 60 (8%) WHO stage 4 disease. Challenges encountered include: (i) running the trial across high- to low-income countries with differing frequencies of standard-of-care viral load monitoring; (ii) evaluating pragmatic DTG dosing in PK sub-studies alongside FDA- and EMA-approved dosing and subsequently transitioning participants to new recommended doses; (iii) delays in dosing information for children weighing 3 to < 14 kg and rapid recruitment of ART-naïve older/heavier children, which led to capping recruitment of participants weighing ≥35 kg in ODYSSEY A and extending recruitment (above 700) to allow for ≥60 additional children weighing between 3 to < 14 kg with associated PK; (iv) a safety alert associated with DTG use during pregnancy, which required a review of the safety plan for adolescent girls.

Conclusions: By employing a basket design, to include ART-naïve and -experienced children, and nested PK substudies, the ODYSSEY trial efficiently evaluates multiple scientific questions regarding dosing and effectiveness of DTG-based ART in children.



Dec, 2020

Pediatric dolutegravir (DTG) dosing recommendations derived from combined P1093 and ODYSSEY Population Pharmacokinetic analysis

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Authors: Singh R, Baker M, Thapar M, Gibb D, Turkova A, Ford D, Ruel T, Wiznia A, Farhad M, Alvero C, Green J, Bollen P, Colbers A, Burger D, Acosta E

Published in: 12th International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics

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Background: HIV treatment options remain limited in children. The recent Tivicay (dolutegravir, DTG) pediatric regulatory submissions propose WHO weight-band based recommendations for once-daily dosing in children ≥4 weeks of age using combined datasets from two pediatric studies: IMPAACT P1093 and ODYSSEY (PENTA20). These doses were informed by the Population PK (PopPK) analysis described below.

Methods: P1093 is a Phase I/II, non-comparative pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety study in HIV-1 infected children (≥4 weeks to <18 years of age). ODYSSEY is a non-inferiority, phase II/III study comparing the efficacy and toxicity of DTG plus 2 NRTIs vs. standard of care in infants and children. Intensive and sparse PK samples following dosing with film coated tablets (FCT), granules and dispersible tablet (DT) formulations in the fasted state and without regard to food were collected in P1093; intensive PK samples using FCTs and DTs in fasted state were collected in ODYSSEY. A PopPK model was developed with data from P1093 (1711 concentrations from n=151 participants) and ODYSSEY (939 concentrations from n=88 participants) to characterize PK, covariates, and associated variability. The final PopPK model simulated exposures across weight bands, doses, and formulations which were compared with established adult reference data.

Results: Of N=239 participants included, baseline age ranged from 0.17-17.5 years and weight from 3.9-91 kg, 50% were male and 80% were black. The model described study data and associated variability well with estimated mean (interindividual variability) CL/F=1.03L/h (29%) and V/F=13.6 L (107%). Based on observed and simulated data, dose stratification by age (<6 months and ≥6 months) in the 6 to <10 kg weight band (10 and 15 mg DTG DT, respectively) was proposed to account for metabolic enzyme maturation. The proposed doses are 5mg DT in 3 to <6kg; 10 mg DT in 6 to<10kg and <6 months, 15mg DT in 6 to <10kg and ≥6months, 20mg DT in 10 to <14kg, 25mg DT in 14 to <20kg and 30mg DT or 50 mg FCT in >20kg. At these doses, the simulated 24- hour concentration (C24h) was consistent across weight bands, similar to observed data, and met the minimum target concentrations of 0.697μg/mL. Similarly, simulated 24-hour area-under-the-curve (AUC24h) met the minimum target (46 h*μg/mL) across weight bands. Simulated maximum concentration (Cmax) results were 0.96 to 1.79- fold those observed historically in adults at the approved dose of DTG 50 mg BID (4.15 μg/mL). The safety exposure-response analysis demonstrated no relationships between PK parameters and adverse events.

Conclusions: Using FCT and DT formulations, DTG dosing in children ≥4 weeks of age on an age/weight-band basis provides comparable exposures to those historically observed in adults. Observed PK variability was higher in this pediatric population and no additional safety concerns were observed.



Aug, 2020

Simplified dolutegravir dosing for children with HIV weighing 20 kg or more: pharmacokinetic and safety substudies of the multicentre, randomised ODYSSEY trial


Authors: Bollen P,  Moore CL ,  Mujuru H et al; the ODYSSEY trial team

Published in: LANCET HIV. 2020;8:e533-e544

Background Paediatric dolutegravir doses approved by stringent regulatory authorities (SRAs) for children weighing 20 kg to less than 40 kg until recently required 25 mg and 10 mg film-coated tablets. These tablets are not readily available in low-resource settings where the burden of HIV is highest. We did nested pharmacokinetic substudies in patients enrolled in the ODYSSEY-trial to evaluate simplified dosing in children with HIV.

Methods We did pharmacokinetic and safety substudies within the open-label, multicentre, randomised ODYSSEY trial (NCT02259127) of children with HIV starting treatment in four research centres in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Eligible children were randomised to dolutegravir in ODYSSEY and weighed 20 kg to less than 40 kg. In children weighing 20 kg to less than 25 kg, we assessed dolutegravir’s pharmacokinetics in children given once daily 25 mg film-coated tablets (approved by the SRAs at the time of the study) in part one of the study, and 50 mg film-coated tablets (adult dose) or 30 mg dispersible tablets in part two of the study. In children weighing 25 kg to less than 40 kg, we also assessed dolutegravir pharmacokinetics within-subject on film-coated tablet doses of 25 mg or 35 mg once daily, which were approved by the SRAs for the children’s weight band; then switched to 50 mg film-coated tablets once daily. Steady-state 24 h dolutegravir plasma concentration-time pharmacokinetic profiling was done in all enrolled children at baseline and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 24 h after observed dolutegravir intake. Target dolutegravir trough concentrations (Ctrough) were based on reference adult pharmacokinetic data and safety was evaluated in all children in the corresponding weight bands who consented to pharmacokinetic studies and received the studied doses.

Findings Between Sept 22, 2016, and May 31, 2018, we enrolled 62 black-African children aged from 6 years to younger than 18 years (84 pharmacokinetic-profiles). In children weighing 20 kg to less than 25 kg taking 25 mg film-coated tablets, the geometric mean (GM) Ctrough (coefficient of variation) was 0·32 mg/L (94%), which was 61% lower than the GM Ctrough of 0·83 mg/L (26%) in fasted adults on dolutegravir 50 mg once-daily; in children weighing 25 kg to less than 30 kg taking 25 mg film-coated tablets, the GM Ctrough was 0·39 mg/L (48%), which was 54% lower than the GM Ctrough in fasted adults; and in those 30 kg to less than 40 kg taking 35 mg film-coated tablets the GM Ctrough was 0·46 mg/L (63%), which was 45% lower than the GM Ctrough in fasted adults. On 50 mg film-coated tablets or 30 mg dispersible tablets, Ctrough was close to the adult reference (with similar estimates on the two formulations in children in the 20 to <25 kg weight band), with total exposure (area under the concentration-time curve from 0 h to 24 h) in between reference values in adults dosed once and twice daily, where safety data are reassuring, although maximum concentrations were higher in children weighing 20 kg to less than 25 kg than in the twice-daily adult reference. Over a 24-week follow-up period in 47 children on 30 mg dispersible tablets or 50 mg film-coated tablets, none of the three reported adverse events (cryptococcal meningitis, asymptomatic anaemia, and asymptomatic neutropenia) were considered related to dolutegravir.

Interpretation Adult dolutegravir 50 mg film-coated tablets given once daily provide appropriate pharmacokinetic profiles in children weighing 20 kg or more, with no safety signal, allowing simplified practical dosing and rapid access to dolutegravir. These results informed the WHO 2019 dolutegravir paediatric dosing guidelines and have led to US Food and Drug Administration approval of adult dosing down to 20 kg.



Mar, 2020

Adeqaute dolutegravir exposure dosed BID with rifampicin in children 6 to < 18 years


Authors: Waalewijn H, Mujuru HA, Amuge P, Cotton M, Bollen P, Chan M, Ali S, Variavan E, Makumbi S, Colbers A, Gibb D, Ford D, Burger D, Turkova A, and the ODYSSEY-trial team

Published in27th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, March 8th –11th, 2020 – Boston.



Mar, 2020

Adeqaute dolutegravir exposure dosed BID with rifampicin in children 6 to < 18 years


Authors: Waalewijn H, Mujuru HA, Amuge P, Cotton M, Bollen P, Chan M, Ali S, Variavan E,Makumbi S, Colbers A, Gibb D, Ford D, Burger D, Turkova A, and the ODYSSEY-trial team

Published in: Oral presentation at 27th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, March 8th –11th, 2020 – Boston.



Nov, 2019

Analysing small groups within clinical trials, while borrowing information from larger groups


Authors: Turner B, Ford D, Moore C, Gibb D, Turkova A,  White I, and ODYSSEY trial team

Published in: Oral Presentation atInternational Society for Clinical Biostatics; July 16th 2019



Sep, 2019

Pharmacokinetics of dolutegravir 5mg dispersible tablets in children weighing 6 to <20kg dosed using WHO weight bands


Authors: Waalewijn H, Bollen PDJ, Moore C, Kekitiinwa A, et al. The ODYSSEY Trail Team

Published in: Oral Presentation at 10th IAS Conference, July, 21-24th 2019



Apr, 2019

Adult dolutegravir 50mg film-coated tablets in children living with HIV weighing 20 to <25 kg


Authors: Bollen P, Turkova A, Mujuru H, et al. for the ODYSSEY Trial Team

Published in: 26th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, March 4th – 7th, 2019– Seattle. P_830


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