Business News

HIV: Breakthrough Medication Approved

Paul Wright December 23, 2020

Injectable medication for the treatment and management of HIV has been granted regulatory approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Vocabria (cabotegravir) has been hailed as a breakthrough in HIV treatment because it can be offered as monthly or bi-monthly injections. Currently most meds regimes for HIV require daily pills and the golden rule for the regimes is adherence: consistent doses at consistent times.

“Daily antiretrovirals have transformed the lives of people living with HIV,” Dr. Antonio Antela of the University Hospital in Santiago de Compostela, Spain who helped administer the trials. “However, taking daily medication can pose challenges for some people; it may act as a constant reminder of HIV or be a cause of fear that their HIV status will be disclosed”

In the trials people living with HIV were first introduced to the medication orally to check for compatibility and then administered the injections.

“The long-acting regimen of cabotegravir was as effective as treatment with current daily antiviral therapy in the clinical trials in maintaining viral suppression, is generally well tolerated, and could change the treatment experience for some people living with HIV that may have challenges with daily HIV therapies” said Dr Antela. Viral suppression is more commonly understood as “undetectable” in the field of HIV.

“We saw from the patient-reported outcomes in our pivotal clinical trials that approximately nine out of 10 people who switched to the long-acting regimen preferred this over their previous daily oral tablets,” said ViiV CEO Deborah Waterhouse

Vocabria is a product of ViiV healthcare which is a collaborative company owned by GlaxoSmithKline along with Pfizer and Shionogi. For more information on Vocabria see their news release.