GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s HIV research division ViiV Healthcare are set to kick off a Phase 3 trial that will evaluate a combo treatment for HIV.
The two pharmaceutical companies are working together to develop a compound treatment that consists of an injectable drug called cabotegravir and rilpivirine from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The developmental treatment will target adults whose HIV-1 infection is virally suppressed. The Phase 3 study of the two-drug combo will be part of the ATLAS-2M trials which will be managed by ViiV Healthcare. The clinical trials aim to investigate the non-inferior antiviral activity of the combo treatment over a period of 48 weeks. It will also evaluate the results when the treatment is administered every 8 weeks versus when administered every 4 weeks.
The Phase 3 trials also seek to evaluate the tolerability, safety, and pharmacokinetics of the two-drug regimen. The two companies are expected to reveal the preliminary data from the trials in 2019. GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer jointly formed ViiV Healthcare in 2009 and Shionogi also became one of the partners in 2012. GSK has also been working together with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to develop treatments that address HIV. Just a week ago, GSK and J&J announced that their two-drug combo called Juluca which is a combination of Edurant/dolutegravir and Tivicay/rilpivirine received FDA approval. The treatment is a single tab that will target patients with HIV-1 infection.
“We remind investors that another phase III ATLAS study is already evaluating the monthly dosing of the combination regimen in virally suppressed patients, while the FLAIR study is evaluating the combination in the first-line setting. Outcomes from the study are expected in 2018,” revealedZacks Research.
There has been notably more focus on HIV treatments within the pharmaceutical industry due to the lucrative nature of the drugs. It is currently estimated that there are about 35 million people living with HIV globally. Numerous firms are developing their own drug combos that are designed to address HIV.
Glaxo stock closed the latest trading session on Tuesday at $35.92 after a 1.06 percent gain from the previous close.