In a boost for pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the US medicines regulator has given the green light to the first ever two-drug regimen to treat HIV.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the treatment, Juluca, late last night. The drug is a once-daily tablet combining two previously approved drugs. Current treatments combine three or four medicines.
GSK is the majority owner of ViiV Healthcare, which makes the drug, and it is banking on its success to help fill a revenue gap left by falling sales of its lung drug Advair. Pfizer and Shionogi also have stakes in ViiV.
Deborah Waterhouse, chief executive of ViiV Healthcare said the approval was an "important milestone in our commitment to deliver innovative advances in HIV care by providing new treatment options that challenge the traditional approach to care".
"This is the start of a new era in HIV treatment. We are delighted to be able to provide the first two-drug regimen to physicians and people living with HIV in the US, to support the reduction of long-term ART exposure as they receive life-long treatment for their chronic condition."
The company is trying to reduce the number of different medicines patients take.