Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson Team Up on Once-Monthly HIV Treatment

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Mar 10, 2020 at 4:36PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The drug combination has to be injected, but only having to deal with treatment once a month could be worth it for many patients.

ViiV Healthcare, the joint venture set up a few years ago by Pfizer (PFE -1.28%), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK -1.03%), and the Japanese drugmaker Shionogi, is moving toward having an HIV treatment that can be dosed monthly -- or even less frequently.

The company presented data at the 2020 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections from a late-stage clinical trial, dubbed Flair, testing ViiV Healthcare's cabotegravir and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ -0.77%) rilpivirine, which showed the combination, when injected once a month, worked just as well as ViiV's Triumeq, which contains three medications and is taken orally daily.

Generally speaking, patients favor pills over injected medications when the frequency is the same, but when the comparison is between a monthly injection and daily pills, their preference tends to skew in favor of the needle. And in the Flair study, patients taking the injection had a higher level of treatment satisfaction compared to patients taking daily oral Triumeq.

Doctor talking to a patient in an exam room

Image source: Getty Images.

In a separate clinical trial, dubbed Atlas-2M, which was also presented at the conference, injections of cabotegravir and rilpivirine every eight weeks worked just as well as dosing every four weeks.

In December, ViiV announced that the Food and Drug Administration had rejected the company's application to approve cabotegravir plus rilpivirine, with the company noting that the issue was strictly related to the chemistry manufacturing and controls section of the application. ViiV noted that there were no changes to the safety profiles of the products used in the clinical trials, but didn't give a timeline for resubmitting the marketing application.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$51.64 (-1.28%) $0.67
Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
$178.14 (-0.77%) $-1.38
GSK Stock Quote
$43.30 (-1.03%) $0.45

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/05/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.