ViiV Healthcare, has reported that their long-acting injectable PrEP continues to show promise.
At last month's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, ViiV announced positive results from their 41-week ECLAIR study, which is evaluating the effectiveness and adoptability of a long-acting injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Currently, PrEP only exists as a once-a-day pill. Because of the potential issue of adherence to a daily regimen, healthcare providers and drug companies have been searching for an effective alternative.
This is the second injectable form of PrEP to show promise. Earlier this year, ViiV announced success with their first long-acting injectable, which was created in collaboration with Janssen Sciences Ireland UC and features a two-drug formulation of cabotegravir (ViiV) and rilpivirine (Janssen). That injectable, now in Phase III clinical trials, had an eight-week regimen.
In the latest study, participants — all adult males not at high risk for contracting HIV — were injected with cabotegravir every 12 weeks for three cycles. The injections were effective and nearly three-quarters of the participants preferred this form of PrEP compared to the daily pill currently on the market.
However, researchers found that cabotegravir was absorbed more quickly than expected, which could mean injections would have to be given every two months instead of every three. A parallel trial is currently investigating the use of the injectable cabotegravir as PrEP in women, but those results are still pending.
The FDA approved oral PrEP in the form of Truvada (a combination of two antiretroviral medications) in 2012. A number of clinical trials have shown that there are mixed levels of effectiveness in women and high levels in men who have sex with men.
ViiV will likely be moving these latest injectables to phase three trials later this year, Dr. John C. Pottage, Jr., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ViiV, said in a press release.
That would move another long-acting PrEP injectable one step closer to receiving FDA approval and consumer release.