This article by Liz Highleyman first appeared in HIVandHepatitis.com here.
A combination of two long-acting injectable antiretrovirals -- ViiV Healthcare's experimental integrase inhibitor cabotegravir and Janssen's NNRTI rilpivirine -- given once every 4 or 8 weeks maintained viral suppression as well as a standard oral regimen and appears safe and well-tolerated, the companies announced this week. These findings from the Phase 2b LATTE 2 trial follow earlier reports from the original LATTE study showing that oral cabotegravir plus rilpivirine suppressed HIV as well as an efavirenz-based regimen, but with fewer side effects.
Long-acting drugs could offer an attractive option for people with HIV facing lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART). Such agents have the advantages of being more convenient and potentially improving adherence, but the drawback is that a long-lived drug cannot be easily removed from the body once administered, so it is especially important to establish safety in advance.
The Phase 2b LATTE (Long-Acting Antiretroviral Treatment Enabling) trial evaluated cabotegravir plus rilpivirine as a simple 2-drug maintenance regimen for people who had already achieved undetectable viral load using standard 3-drug combination ART. Evidence that the 2 drugs are effective when taken as once-daily pills laid the groundwork for testing their long-acting injectable formulations.
To read the rest of the article go here.