GlaxoSmithKline says HIV prevention candidate more effective than standard of care

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GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) said an independent data safety monitoring board indicated that cabotegravir is more effective in preventing HIV than the oral standard of care.

Cabotegravir is an investigational integrase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the action of the integrase, a viral enzyme that inserts the viral genome into the DNA of the host cell, a key process to spread the virus.

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The candidate, which is not approved anywhere in the world, is developed by ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture between Glaxo, Pfizer and Shionogi, for the treatment and prevention of HIV.

It is being evaluated as a long-acting formulation for injection as well as a once-daily oral tablet to establish its tolerability before moving to the injection phase.

The study was conducted on 3,223 participants in 20 sites across Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, eSwatini, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The FTSE 100 firm said it was the first study of long-acting injectable therapy for HIV prevention among women.

“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,” said Kimberly Smith, head of research & development at ViiV.

“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.”

Shares added 1% to 1,415.2p on Monday morning.

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