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GSK, J&J monthly HIV regimen as effective as daily pills, late-stage study shows

ViiV Healthcare Ltd., majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, reported positive early results from a late-stage trial of an HIV treatment comprising cabotegravir and rilpivirine.

The phase 3 study, called Atlas, evaluated the combination against standard antiretroviral therapy in 618 adults with HIV-1. Clinical data after 48 weeks of the trial showed that a monthly regimen of cabotegravir and rilpivirine was as effective as standard of care daily medications given to control the AIDS virus.

Overall safety, virologic response and drug resistance results for the cabotegravir-rilpivirine combination was consistent with previous mid-stage studies.

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U.K.-based ViiV Healthcare ran the Atlas trial under a collaboration with Janssen Sciences Ireland UC, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. Tibotec, another Johnson & Johnson unit, developed rilpivirine.

"This novel approach is another step towards potentially reducing the treatment burden for people living with HIV," ViiV Healthcare Chief Scientific and Chief Medical Officer John Pottage said in a news release.

"If approved, this regimen would give people living with HIV one month between each dose of antiretroviral therapy, changing HIV treatment from 365 dosing days per year, to just 12," Pottage added.

ViiV Healthcare said detailed results from the Atlas study will be presented at an upcoming scientific meeting.

The company's CEO previously said it will lead the HIV market by the mid-2020s. Recent studies showed another 2-drug HIV regimen from ViiV Healthcare worked just as well as standard care.