Yet another promising development has been achieved when it comes to coming up with medication that will help stem the spread of HIV.
Based on a global HIV prevention study, it looks like ViiV Healthcare’s drug cabotegravir is more effective at preventing the spread of HIV among those who take it. The test involved 4,600 participants, ranging from transgender women to bisexual and gay men. Compared to Truvada — the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) produced by Gilead — cabotegravir ended up being 69 percent more effective.
Unlike drugs like Truvada which has to be taken daily, cabotegravir is an injectable treatment administered every two months. Because it only needs to be taken every two months, people are less likely to forget or skip a dose, the same way some people do with the daily intake of Truvada.
In a released statement, ViiV Healthcare Head of Research & Development Dr. Kimberly Smith, M.D. called the result of the study thrilling. She also noted that the study “demonstrated high efficacy in a study that adequately represents some of the populations most disproportionately impacted by HIV — black MSM in the U.S., young MSM globally and transgender women.”
GSK, which produces cabotegravir, told the New York Times that they will be asking the American Food and Drug and Administration to speed up the approval of the drug considering how the study was. Currently, cabotegravir is already approved in Canada.
This is the latest development in the ongoing efforts to provide better treatments that prevent the spread of HIV. Last year, the government of the United States started accepting applications for free PrEP.
In September of this year, Israel-based generic drugs manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical will be releasing a generic version of Truvada. This was made possible because of a 2014 settlement agreement between Gilead and Teva Pharmaceutical.