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A Year-End Look At HIV Treatments in 2013

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2013 was a year of encouraging developments in treatments for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Although we still haven't found a cure for HIV, which affects approximately 34 million people worldwide and 1.1 million people in the United States, better drugs were approved in 2013, and a new generation of HIV vaccines is making its way through clinical trials.

Let's take a closer look at these major developments, and how companies like Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD  ) , GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) , Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) , and Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO  ) could get closer to their goals of effectively treating HIV in 2014.

Gilead continues dominating the market

HIV treatments have come a long way since the days of AZT, the first FDA approved treatment for the disease, which caused a wide array of blood, liver, and heart problems.

Over the past 12 years, Gilead Sciences' Viread has been the most important HIV drug in the market. Viread blocks reverse transcriptase, a virus enzyme which plays a crucial role in HIV and hepatitis B infections.

Over time, Gilead has improved Viread by combining it with other drugs, such as Truvada (Viread and Emtriva), Atripla (Viread, Emtriva, Merck's Sustiva), Complera (Viread, Emtriva, Tibotec's Edurant) and Stribild (Viread, Emtriva, EVG, and cobicistat).

However, Viread is the foundation on which Gilead's newer drugs are built upon, which could make it a liability when its patent expires in 2017. Last quarter, Gilead's HIV drugs generated $2.3 billion in sales, accounting for 85% of its top line.

2013 represented the first full year that Stribild, which was approved last September, was on the market. Sales of Stribild soared 722% year-over-year to $144 million, despite some criticism of its controversial wholesale price of $28,500 per patient per year. By comparison, Atripla was originally launched in 2006 at $13,800, but has since risen to Complera's wholesale price of $20,500.

ViiV's Tivicay is a potential blockbuster

Meanwhile, ViiV Healthcare, a company formed by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer in 2009 to focus on developing HIV treatments, gained FDA approval for its HIV drug Tivicay in August. The drug also received a positive opinion from the CHMP in Europe in November.

Tivicay is an integrase inhibitor -- a new class of HIV drugs which gained attention with the approval of Merck's Isentress in 2007. Both drugs inhibit a viral enzyme, known as integrase, which integrates retroviral DNA into a host cell's genome.

Tivicay was originally developed by Shionogi, which owns 10% of Viiv. Glaxo and Pfizer respectively own the remaining 76.5% and 13.5% of the company. Although Tivicay must be taken with two other generically available HIV drugs, Ziagen and Zeffix, the combined treatment is substantially cheaper than Gilead's newer drugs, with a wholesale price of $14,105 per year.

Tivicay's sales are expected to reach $900 million by 2017, with the potential to hit annual peak sales of $5 billion. Tivicay could help turn around ViiV's declining sales over the last few quarters, which was caused by generic competition for Combivir, Epivir, and other products in the U.S.

HIV vaccines show promise

A vaccine has been the elusive holy grail of HIV treatments. Back in 1984, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler famously suggested that a vaccine for AIDS would be available within two years.

However, nearly three decades later, the closest that researchers have come to that goal is RV 144, an HIV vaccine which showed promising results in a clinical trial between 2003 and 2009 in Thailand.

The initial study of RV 144 showed that patients given the vaccine had a 31.2% lower rate of infection than those given a placebo. More specifically, 51 out of 8,197 volunteers given the vaccine contracted HIV, compared to 74 who were given the placebo. However, considering the size of the trial group, it's difficult to determine if the vaccine had any effect all.

According to the original study, there was only a 4% chance that the vaccine was not effective, but a 2011 study conducted at Duke University determined that there was actually a 29% chance that it was not effective. Nevertheless, RV 144 is still considered a suitable candidate for large scale research.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals' next-generation vaccines are also worth keeping an eye on. The company has an extremely promising pipeline full of vaccines for cancer, hepatitis B and C, malaria, and HIV.

Inovio's approach is special because it uses two new technologies -- electroporation, which delivers the vaccine through brief electric pulses, and synthetic DNA, which is designed to stimulate an immune system response. It is currently working on three HIV vaccines:

Vaccine

Focus

Status

PENNVAX-B

Strains in North America and Europe

2 Phase 1 studies (infected and non-infected) completed

PENNVAX-G

Collaboration with U.S. Military HIV Research Program

Phase 1 study initiated by U.S. Military HIV Research Program

PENNVAX-GP

Strains in Africa and Asia

Plans to initiate a phase 1 trial in the first half of 2014

Source: Company website.

Although all three vaccines are still in early stage trials, Inovio's method of stimulating an immune system response via synthetic DNA could be a promising new approach to treating HIV. Most importantly, they are being tested as preventative and therapeutic vaccines, meaning that they could be used to treat both non-infected and infected patients.

The Foolish takeaway

Looking ahead into 2014, convenient combination treatments like Gilead's Stribild could substantially improve the daily lives of patients. In addition, newer integrase inhibitors like Isentress and Tivicay could chip away at the dominance of Viread-based drugs.

HIV vaccines, now nearly three decades overdue, could eventually arrive as well. RV 144 and Inovio's HIV vaccines are two promising projects which could eventually save millions of lives and render HIV cocktail drugs from Gilead and ViiV Healthcare obsolete.

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Read/Post Comments (17) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 29, 2013, at 9:20 PM, Madisonmc wrote:

    Good INO PR. Thanks. Just as an FYI, PENNVAX-B is being discontinued with the learnings from the trials being put into PENNVAX-GP. Bigger...better..HIV vaccination

  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2014, at 4:46 PM, 1AmericanGreed wrote:

    They will not make a cure for HIV?

    why? there's no money in cures, all the money is in treatments, Big Pharma gave up on cures, making treatments and requirement and takes patient money! average atripla treamtment 24,000 a yr X 25 yrs that's $600,000 a person. They cannot cure for that profit! HIV for LIFE! make them live longer more money they profit!

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 5:57 AM, Sophia11221 wrote:

    My name is Sophia Precious, i am from New York City. I was suffering from HIV for over 4 years, i was hopeless until one of my friend directed me to a man called Dr Enoma, she said he cures the sickness and also said he has also helped her friend, i never believed her but after a lot of talk, i decided to give him a try, just few days ago i contacted him and he told me what to do which i did and he cast a spell for me and told me to go for a test which i also did and when the result came out i was surprised to see that i am negative. I am proud to tell you the i am the most happiest person on earth. Gig thanks to Dr Enoma grate spell...... If you are having any problem and you need help, You can contact him with his email dr.enomaspellhome@gmail.com or Phone Number: +2348128523785.... i pray you find solution in him just i did.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 8:14 PM, fredsauquillo wrote:

    Please help me thank Dr Enoma for his good work I really believe HIV has no cure I was HIV positive over since 3 year plus before I come across a comment about Dr Enoma that he have cure to any disease and virus but when I saw it i have it in mind that he can’t cure HIV I just decided to give a try I contact him that night luckily to me he said yes but I don’t believe him I think it was a scam or some thing like that but I still hold on to see the work of Dr Enoma if he is saying the true, he ask for different thing and some question about me I give him all the details he needed and I waited to see his reply to my problem. After all the things is done he ask me to go for check up I went for hiv test I cant believe i became hiv negative thanks to Dr Enoma for helping me cure my disease. if you need help of any kind you can contact him now with his Email: dr.enomaspellhome@gmail.com or call +2348128523785.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2014, at 6:09 AM, Sarahwyane wrote:

    Good day everyone, my name is Miss Sarah from USA, i have been suffering from HIV/Aids for over 4years now, and suddenly,i have spent all my money,all to make sure i get healthy all day no good result,but happily last month February 12th 2014, i came in contact with a traditional doctor also known as a chief priest on a newspaper who is called Great Eagle,who help me to cure effective called aids, firstly i taught it was a joke until i go for check up.please viewers,contact this man for your healing on his email address here,eaglespellcenter@gmail.com,try and see...

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2014, at 6:11 AM, Sarahwyane wrote:

    Good day everyone, my name is Miss Sarah from USA, i have been suffering from HIV/Aids for over 4years now, and suddenly,i have spent all my money,all to make sure i get healthy all day no good result,but happily last month February 12th 2014, i came in contact with a traditional doctor also known as a chief priest on a newspaper who is called Great Eagle,who help me to cure effective called aids, firstly i taught it was a joke until i go for check up.please viewers,contact this man for your healing on his email address here,eaglespellcenter@gmail.com,try and see...

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2014, at 4:43 AM, Beatricemark wrote:

    Am Beatrice mark.I was HIV/AIDS positive for 3 years and i have been contacting fake Doctors who ran away with my hard earn money i felt hopeless, until i saw a testimony of how the lord spiritual has been

    healing people suffering from HIV and other diseases,i decided to give him a try by contacting him and today am free.i want to express a heart felt

    appreciation to the LORD SPIRITUAL for healing me. I have directed people with Cancer, Barren women,

    and those with different problem to him and he favored them differently.I have not seen any one as powerful as the

    lord spiritual. Just put him to test and see what he can do. (Seen is believing).for more information contact me on beatricemark0032@gmail.com.

    I vowed to testify of what he has done. For any problem just contact or email him on LORDSPIRITUAL@OUTLOOK.COM

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2014, at 4:44 AM, Beatricemark wrote:

    Am Beatrice mark.I was HIV/AIDS positive for 3 years and i have been contacting fake Doctors who ran away with my hard earn money i felt hopeless, until i saw a testimony of how the lord spiritual has been

    healing people suffering from HIV and other diseases,i decided to give him a try by contacting him and today am free.i want to express a heart felt

    appreciation to the LORD SPIRITUAL for healing me. I have directed people with Cancer, Barren women,

    and those with different problem to him and he favored them differently.I have not seen any one as powerful as the

    lord spiritual. Just put him to test and see what he can do. (Seen is believing).for more information contact me on beatricemark0032@gmail.com.

    I vowed to testify of what he has done. For any problem just contact or email him on LORDSPIRITUAL@OUTLOOK.COM.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2016, at 7:42 PM, ErikaDave wrote:

    Hello everybody my name is Erika, i never believed that spell and herb can cure ten years HIV in my body, i never thought that this will work, i have spent a lot getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, what i was waiting for is death because i was broke, one day i read about this great man called DR IGHORELE who is well known for his, HIV and cancer cure, i decided to email him on his email address( dr.ighorelespellalter@gmail.co m) which was dropped by the person, unknowingly to me that this will be the end of the HIV aids in my body, he prepared the herbs cure for me, and sent them to me with instructions on how to take it, at the end of 5 days, he told me to go to the hospital for a checkup, and i went, surprisingly after the test the hospital doctor confirmed me negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospitals and was also confirmed HIV negative, then i took my friend who was also HIV positive which i met on a hospital some three years back to the Dr, and after the herbal cure treatment she was also confirmed negative . He also have the herb to cure cancers, infertility and any other disease, please i want everyone with this viruses to be free, that is why i am dropping his email address, Dr.ighorelespellalter@gmail.co m do contact him now he is a great man and he has helped me. the government is also interested in this DR for his supernatural and miraculous works, thank you DR IGHORELE for saving my life, and I promise I will always testify for your good work.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2016, at 2:24 AM, vanisa22323 wrote:

    Hi everyone , this testimony is all about Dr Ogbodu the spell caster that just save my life by helping me in curing my HIV/AIDS after i have spend all my life savings looking from cure from fake spell casters who claimed to be real and they scammed away my money without helping. I Also tried medications from different hospital and clinic but all seems to be in vain until the day I went to Dr Ogbodu as my last hope, He assured me that he is going to help me and i am glad to say today i am cured due to the help of the herbal cure that was being prepared by Dr Ogbodu, if you know you are reading this and you need cure to any type of illness and also who has also been scammed by other fake spell casters, worry no more, here is the ultimate solution to your problem, contact him now through his email: ekpensolutionspellcasting@gmail.com

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2016, at 3:25 PM, erickstuardo1968 wrote:

    Hello my dear viewers,I am Erick Stuardo, i will say to the world to celebrate with me on this numerous testimony, i never believe i could ever get rid of this horrible disease until one fateful day,my story and appreciation goes to Dr.Oduma the powerful great doctor that help me to cure my HIV/AIDS disease from my life,he is truly a truthful man with high herbs power's he uses on saving people's life, just a few days back i came in contact with Dr.Oduma emails which many individuals have testify so much about of his kind work, so i decided and contacted him quickly because the disease was almost at the last minute of taking my life, i have tried all remedies from several physicians from hospitals but none could help me apart from Dr.Oduma who finally cure my HIV/AIDS disease, i was amazed and overwhelmed when the doctor confirmed me negative in the same hospital i have been before,i wish to anyone that is sick today and want healing to please contact this doctor (drodumaherbaltemple@gmail.com) so if you have any problem HIV, HERPES, CANCER, ALS,HEPATITIS B, DIABETIC,or call +2348071622572.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2016, at 5:06 PM, luzgiraldo19540 wrote:

    Thanks to my friend that lead me to Great Dr Oduma,I’m so grateful to Great Dr Oduma for healing me, My name is Luz Giraldo from Spain. I was diagnose with HIV/AIDS in FEB 2013 and ever since then i have done a lot of treatments that have not helped issues, but only damaged my immune system and frustrated me. I came across Great Dr Oduma through several testimonies of his spiritual power and herbs cure and I was able to contact him at:(drodumaherbaltemple@gmail.com). I’m here to let every one know that am no longer a HIV/AIDS patient, I have experience a total change in my health, with Great Dr Oduma spiritual power and herbs cure, I have experience a total transformation in my health after Great Dr Oduma cast healing spell on me. for all HIV/AIDS patient that live in the America region and Europe at large, Great Dr Oduma can also offer any types of help like Reuniting of marriage and relationship, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot’s more. contact him on his E-mail: (drodumaherbaltemple@gmail.com) and phone number :2348071622572.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2016, at 9:30 PM, Olivia332 wrote:

    Hello" thank God for the wonderful healing spell power which Dr Camala render to my life which oracle support, i was been diagnosed with HIV-AIDS over 7years now which has lead me to unemployment and loosing my relationship with my fiance after he heard that i am suffering from the VIRUS, i tried begging him to allow me stays with him, but he still insist on letting me out of his home, until a friend of mine on facebook from SOUTH AFRICA told me more about Dr Camala the great healer, that he is going to help restore and healed my diseased with his powerful healing spell, she send me of Dr Camala email address and i quickly contacted him, and he replied to after 30mins of my message that my disease is a little and minor disease, that he will solved the disease immediately only if i can accept all he requested from, i told him yes, because truly i know that " HIV-AIDS IS A WICKED AND DEADLY DISEASE I EVER KNOWS ". so i did all he want from me and surprisingly on friday last week DR Camala called me that my problems is solved that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly really did, i confirm from my doctor that i am now HIV- NEGATIVE AND NOT LONG +, I jump up and was crying heavily because truly the disease drive alot of things away from my life, my friends, my cousin, my fiance and relatives, but now since i was confirm NEGATIVE- my lost friends and fiance has been back to me begging for forgiveness, i have forgiven them and now we are now best of friend. again i will say to Dr Camala that he is blessed and may the almighty God which i serve raise him and his family to the higher level in life. Thank and god bless. Please email DR Camala for healing and solution now at = dr.camalahivaidscure@yahoo.com

  • Report this Comment On March 25, 2016, at 4:02 AM, patall wrote:

    I ,am from united states of america, I want to testify of how i got cured of HIV, I got infected with HIV disease in 2010, visited several herbalists, spiritualists and pastors for cure but all to no avail, my world was gradually coming to an end until,i searched google and read about possible cures to get cured of hiv. i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal spell home,ACHIEVERS HERBAL TEMPLE,A temple that cures all kinds of deadly diseases including HIV AIDS, ALS, MND, Epilepsy, Leukemia, Asthma, Cancer, Ghonorhea etc, at first i got shocked,but when i read the temple's name again i thought of giving them a try because i so much believe in achieving what you desire. when i contacted this herbal spell home via email,he prepared a herbal spell portion and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal spell portion, he gave me step by step instructions on how to apply them, when i applied it as instructed, i was cured of this deadly disease within 7days, I am now HIV Negative (-) all thanks to Achievers temple . Contact this great herbal spell home, Email: achieversherbaltemple@gmail.com or call 234 705 907 4351 Goodluck.

  • Report this Comment On March 25, 2016, at 12:19 PM, ztomzack wrote:

    If anyone in this world believed in spell... it was not me. I was (Doubting Thomas) when it had to do with spells, magic, voodoo, and any of those sort, until I had an experiential encounter with a real herbalist. I was on a business trip to Africa which was sponsored by the company I work for. Business class ticket, five star hotel, a personal driver...all kind of luxury of that kind. I was to stay there for a week. On the second day of this trip, I taught I needed to get a girl to warm up my bed for the rest of the days I would be staying there. So, one faithful evening, I asked my driver to take me on a cruise. Into the streets we went and in less than 3mins, I found exactly what I needed. Before I could blink, she already was on my bed because of my luxurious lifestyle. This went on until I left Africa. I went back to the States and lived my normal life. After about 8 months, I fell very sick. Went to the hospital and... I am POSITIVE (HIV). Immediately, my mind flashed back to the girl in Africa because we always were having unprotected sex and I equally had seen ARV in her purse but she said she had just gone to collect it for her father. Foolishly, I never suspected anything. I immediately called this African girl and told her how she just had ended my life. She laughed and told me not to worry about it. I got very angry but she told me she had been cleansed off HIV. I could not believe what she was saying until she sent me a copy of her recently done test result. I begged her for the cure, and without hesitation, she told me about the herbalist that made her whole. I told her that I was going to do anything to get his contact, and immediately, she sent his email address (payospiritsshalospells AT yahoo DOT com) and I contacted him. In 3 days, I went back to the hospital to get a test done, just as the herbalist had said. Behold... The result... NEGATIVE. All you out there experiencing medical problems beyond scientific solutions, do run to Dr. Payo Shalo for rapid solutions... I no longer am (Doubting Thomas)...lol.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2016, at 11:16 PM, tessyjoel wrote:

    Greetings to you all, i am here today on this forum giving a life testimony on how Dr.Aluya has cured me from HIV Virus, i have been stocked in bondage with this virus for almost 2years now, i have tried different means to get this sickness out of my body i also heard there was no cure to the virus, all the possible ways i tried did not work out for me, i do have the faith that i was going to be cured one day, as i was a strong believer in God and also in miracles, One day as i was on the internet i came across some amazing testimonies concerning how Dr Aluya has cured different people from various sickness with his Herbal Herbs Medicine, they all advised we contact Dr Aluya for any problem, with that i had the courage and i contacted Dr.Aluya i told him about my Sickness, He told me not to worry that he was going to prepare some Herbal Medicine for me, after some time in communication with Dr.Aluya, he finally prepared for me some herbs which he sent to me and he also gave me prescriptions on how to take them, My good friends after taking Dr.Aluya Herbs for some weeks i started to experience changes in me and from there, I noticed my HIV Virus was no longer in my body, as i have also gone for test, Today i am fit and healthy to live life again, I am so happy for the good work of Dr.Aluya in my life, Friends if you are having any type of disease problem kindly email Dr.Aluya on { Dr.Aluyasolutiontemple@yahoo.com} or call him on +2347064851317}

    DR.ALUYA IS SPECIALIZED IN

    1.HIV/AIDS

    2.HPV

    3.ZIKA VIRUS

    4.COPD/MND

    5.STROCK

    6.HERPES

    7.SYPHILLS

    8.Chagas disease

    9.Behcet’s disease

    10.CIDP

    11.Endometriosis

    12.Influenza

    13.Rotavirus

    14.Childhood Diseases.

    15.Lupus

    16.Lyme disease

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2016, at 12:47 AM, vargascynthia wrote:

    I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Vargas Cynthia I never thought that I will live on earth before the year runs out. I have been suffering from a deadly disease (HIV) for the past 5 years now; I had spent a lot of money going from one places to another, from churches to churches, hospitals have been my every day residence. Constant checks up have been my hobby not until last Month, I was searching through the internet, I saw a testimony on how DR. Ben helped someone in curing her HIV disease, quickly I copied his email which is (drbenharbalhome@gmail.com).I spoke to him, he asked me to do some certain things which I did, he told me that he is going to provide the herbal to me, which he did, then he asked me to go for medical checkup after some days after using the herbal cure, I was free from the deadly disease, he only asked me to post the testimony through the whole world, faithfully am doing it now, please brothers and sisters, he is great, I owe him in my life. if you are having a similar problems just email him on (drbenharbalhome@gmail.com) or simply whatsapp him on: +2348144631509.He can also cure disease like Cancer, Diabeties, Herpes. Etc. You can reach me on email: vargascynthiamaye1995@gmail.com

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