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Viiv Healthcare’s cabotegravir effective in HIV prevention in women

Published on 09/11/20 at 01:24pm
Reconfirming the Traditional Model of HIV Particle Assembly. Gross L, PLoS Biology Vol. 4/12/2006, e445. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040445

Viiv Healthcare’s cabotegravir is more effective in preventing HIV in women than the oral standard of care, according to an independent data safety monitoring board. 

The drug is being evaluated as a long-formulation injection, as well as a daily oral tablet to establish its tolerability. The drug is an investigational integrase inhibitor that blocks the action of the integrase, a viral enzyme that inserts the viral genome into the DNA of a host cell. This is a key process that spreads HIV. 

The research investigated the treatment in 3,223 participants in 20 different sites in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Eswatini, Botswana, Uganda and Zimbabwe.The data showed that there was a significant advantage for the women who received cabotegravir compared with mtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil tablets. In the study, the cabotegravir tablets were well tolerated, with most adverse events being mild or moderate in severity.

The study was jointly funded by the US NIAID and the National Institute of Mental Health, both part of the NIH, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ViiV Healthcare, and was conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network.

Kimberly Smith, Head of Research & Development at ViiV Healthcare, said: “It’s thrilling to collaborate with the NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct such an important study in HIV prevention in women and deliver ground-breaking results confirming the superior efficacy of long-acting cabotegravir for PrEP. Women need more effective choices for HIV prevention. 

“If approved, long-acting cabotegravir will provide an option that reduces the number of annual dosing days from 365 to six. In addition, long-acting cabotegravir can be discretely administered and may empower women to reduce their risk of HIV acquisition without the need for negotiation with their sexual partner. The results confirm long-acting cabotegravir’s potential as an HIV prevention option that can meet these needs.”

Conor Kavanagh

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