Pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said on Monday that trials of its long-acting injectable HIV drug cabotegravir administered every two months is more effective than taking daily pills in preventing HIV in women. The shares added 1% to £14.12.

The company’s majority held HIV specialist ViiV Healthcare released interim analysis from the HPTN 084 phase three study which shows it is more 89% more effective in preventing HIV than taking current standard of care daily pills. The study follows similarly effective results reported earlier in the year from a companion study in men.

The HPTN 084 study was the first testing of a long-acting injectable therapy for HIV prevention among women and was conducted in 20 sites across seven sub-Saharan African countries involving 3,223 participants. The data showed a statistically significant advantage for the women taking cabotegravir.

Head of Research and Development at ViiV, Kimberly Smith commented, ‘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.’

ViiV Healthcare plans to use the studies for future regulatory submissions and detailed results will be presented at an upcoming scientific meeting.

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Issue Date: 09 Nov 2020