The race to make a long-acting HIV drug is getting heated, with several companies working towards that goal.
On Thursday, British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline announced that their experimental long-acting HIV injection had succeeded in the late-stage study.
In the study, GSK found that the drug is as effective when given every two months as monthly. This is a great win for GSK, which is faced in a stiff competition with rival Gilead Sciences, for a long-acting HIV treatment.
The company has promised to release detailed results at a future medical conference.
Currently, the most popular drug regiment for HIV patients is a once-a-day pill. GSK already makes one – Dovato, which was approved for the US market in April.
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However, the holy grail in HIV treatment (before a cure is found) has always been a long-acting injection, and this now appears to be in sight.
Injections are mainly targeted at patients who may be unable, or not comfortable with daily pills.
“This is further progress in our efforts to reduce the number of medicines a person living with HIV must take while also reducing the frequency of treatments,” said Kimberly Smith, Head of Research & Development at ViiV – GSK’s HIV unit.
The trial focused on the HIV-1 category of the Aids virus. So far, no word on how soon it can be expected in the market.
Additional reporting by Reuters