Long-acting injectable HIV treatment undergoes clinical trials

13 January 2016
Doctor looking into microscope

People living with HIV with suppressed viral loads may, for the first time, be offered long-acting, injectable antiretroviral treatment, following a clinical investigation by two global pharmaceutical companies.

Specialist HIV company, ViiV Healthcare, and Janssen Sciences Ireland UC (Janssen) have announced plans for a Phase III trial into the efficacy, safety and tolerability of injectable forms of the antiretroviral drugs cabotegravir (CAM LA) and rilpivirine (RPV RA). The two-drug combination is intended as a maintenance therapy for people living with HIV who have already achieved viral suppression.

Phase II of the trial was completed last year and found the injectable therapy, taken every one or two months, to be just as effective as those who took a daily oral regimen.

Dominique Limet, CEO, ViiV Healthcare said: “If successful, this regimen would offer people living with HIV who have achieved viral suppression an alternative option to the standard oral daily, three drug therapy.”

Currently there is only one treatment option for people living with HIV – a daily regimen of oral drugs, which can present challenges such as remembering or being able to take the medication or experiencing negative symptoms because of the way the drugs react with each other. The opportunity to reduce medication from three drugs to two, and administer long-lasting treatment through injections may mean that for some people, these challenges could be reduced or avoided.

The Phase III programme is expected to start in mid-2016 and is the second development agreement between the two companies as part of their strategy to contribute to the understanding and management of HIV.

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