Soon it may be possible to treat HIV with a weekly injection instead of pills.
Biotech firm CytoDyn plans a Phase III study — the final test before seeking Food and Drug Administration approval — of PRO 140, the first self-injectable antibody to treat HIV. The 25-week trial will involve 300 HIV-positive patients.
If approved, PRO 140, which has already shown ability to suppress the virus, will compete with Selzentry (both target the same protein, CCR%, thus preventing the entry of HIV into T cells), but PRO 140 appears to be less toxic, with fewer side effects. A Phase IIb study documented a 98 percent success rate for the drug in viral suppression, and it has the potential to treat other disorders, including certain inflammatory diseases, autoimmunity, and cancer, according to CytoDyn. The company intends to submit its final application to the FDA in November 2016, with PRO 140 going on the market in 2017, if the Phase III results are positive.