Once-per-month HIV drugs could soon be available

According to a recent article, drug companies are developing longer-acting, injectable HIV treatments.

Pharmaceutical companies are developing injectable HIV drugs that target different components of the HIV virus and can be administered once every few weeks, writes senior editor Megha Satyanarayana in the article published in Chemical & Engineering News.

This is because the current therapy for HIV – antiretroviral drugs in pill form, taken once a day – can be an issue as patients don’t always remember to take their medication.

Currently, at least nine long-acting injectable therapies for HIV are in clinical development. Recently, ViiV Healthcare released data from two Phase III clinical trials of a combination treatment of two drugs that inhibit different parts of the virus.

When given as an intramuscular injection, the therapy was as effective as pills and persisted in the body for at least a month. In addition, more than 97 percent of study participants said in a survey that they preferred the long-acting injectable to daily pills.

Other researchers are looking beyond treatment to a possible cure for HIV, developing therapies, such as broadly neutralising antibodies, that could ‘wake up’ and then kill dormant viruses. Although injectable HIV drugs could be a welcome convenience for many, some experts are skeptical that they would actually improve treatment compliance, especially among people who are homeless or lack stable insurance coverage. 

The article ‘With several long-acting HIV treatments in the works, the newest drugs emphasize convenience’ is available here.

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