Doctors have found a new combination of injectable HIV drugs that could replace the daily oral treatments some HIV-positive patients currently take to suppress the virus.
Calling the new therapy “transformational” for HIV-positive patients who rely on daily pill regimens, Johnson & Johnson head of pharmaceuticals Paul Stoffels said the new treatment could be on the market as soon as 2020 if results found in clinical trials can be replicated in the larger, final-stage trials to come.
In clinical trials, the injectable treatment taken once every eight weeks performed similarly to a daily three-pill oral treatment.
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The new treatment was created by combining already-existing drugs from Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline.
The Daily Mail reports:
Patients getting injections every month had viral suppression of 94 per cent after 32 weeks.
Meanwhile, the suppression rate was 95 per cent for those receiving treatment every eight weeks.
By comparison, patients on tablets had a suppression rate of 91 per cent.
“Despite great progress in HIV treatments, the burden of treating HIV patients remains high,” said Stoffels. “Long-acting injectable drug formulations may offer another option for HIV maintenance therapy. Our hope in studying such combinations is to make HIV infection manageable with a potentially transformational all injectable regimen.”