New drug taken every six months may help those with multi-drug resistant HIV

Gilead Sciences, Inc. announced on Saturday, July 17 that it is currently researching a new drug called lenacapavir that may help people living with multi-drug resistant HIV, according to Plus Magazine

They shared the new results from its continuing Phase 2 and Phase 3 CAPELLA clinical trial of the biopharmaceutical company’s drug, lenacapavir. Lenacapavir is an injection that patients will need to take every six months. 

In a July 17 press release, it was announced that studies have proven that patients who took lenacapavir for 26 weeks along with other antiretroviral drugs experienced a significantly higher suppression of HIV than those that had not been previously responding to such treatment. The results of this trial, in which 72 individuals participated, were also presented at the 11th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science. 

Dr. Jean-Michel Molina, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Paris, stated, “Despite the advances in treating HIV infection, there remains an unmet need for treatment options for people who struggle with multi-drug resistance. As a physician, it’s frustrating to have limited options for these patients who are at greater risk of progressing to AIDS.”

Molina goes on to say: “The CAPELLA results are exciting as they demonstrate that an undetectable viral load is achievable in a patient population that has typically had challenges with viral suppression over the course of their journey living with HIV. New, long-acting options in development, like lenacapavir, are critical to changing the clinical landscape, and I’m encouraged that lenacapavir can potentially help improve clinical outcomes.”

“Lenacapavir is a breakthrough innovation in HIV research. If approved, it has the potential to become a cornerstone of future long-acting HIV regimens,” stated senior vice president and virology therapeutic area head at Gilead Sciences, Frank Duff. 

He goes on: “Scientific advances are a key to helping end the HIV epidemic. Our researchers are committed to addressing the unmet needs of people living with HIV, including the exploration of different dosing intervals that may coincide with regularly scheduled visits with healthcare providers.”

Gilead has applied for the drug to get the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration. If approved, the drug will be the first and only one of its kind, which is a huge breakthrough in further treating HIV.

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