Gilead’s Breakthrough HIV Prevention Shot Shows Promise

Gilead’s Breakthrough HIV Prevention Shot Shows Promise | Enterprise Wierd

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Source – PinkNews

Successful Trial Results

Gilead Sciences announced a groundbreaking achievement on Thursday: its experimental lenacapavir shot, administered twice-yearly, demonstrated 100% effectiveness in HIV Prevention in a late-stage clinical trial. The interim analysis revealed that none of the approximately 2,000 women who received the shot contracted HIV, prompting the trial’s independent data monitoring committee to recommend unblinding the study and offering lenacapavir to all participants. Those in the control group received standard daily pills.

Market and Investor Response

Following the promising results, Gilead’s stock surged by approximately 7% on Thursday. The pharmaceutical giant views these findings as a significant advancement towards expanding its HIV treatment portfolio and introducing a new form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to the market.

Future Prospects and FDA Approval

Before seeking approval from the FDA, Gilead plans to replicate these results in ongoing Phase 3 studies, including one involving men who have sex with men, with data expected later this year or early next year. If successful, Gilead aims to launch lenacapavir for PrEP as early as late 2025, pending regulatory approval.

Impact on HIV Prevention Landscape

Gilead’s Truvada, introduced over a decade ago, was the first FDA-approved PrEP, revolutionizing HIV prevention with daily pills. However, the market is now shifting towards longer-acting alternatives like injectable shots, which offer convenience and potentially higher adherence rates among users.

PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission significantly—from sex by 99% and from injected drug use by 74% when taken correctly. Despite its efficacy, adoption rates in the U.S. remain low, with just over one-third of eligible individuals utilizing PrEP, according to the CDC.

Broader Implications and Access Challenges

Health policymakers and advocates welcome longer-acting PrEP options as potential game-changers in combating HIV globally. These alternatives are seen as crucial for individuals who find daily pills impractical or undesirable due to lifestyle factors. Activists urge Gilead to ensure equitable access to lenacapavir, especially in regions with high HIV incidence and limited resources.

Gilead has faced scrutiny over the pricing of its HIV medications, including Descovy, which costs $26,000 annually. In response, the company plans to address access concerns for lenacapavir in affected countries, as part of its commitment to global health equity.

The success of lenacapavir represents a significant milestone in HIV prevention, potentially expanding treatment options and improving outcomes for individuals at risk worldwide. As Gilead advances towards regulatory approval, stakeholders remain optimistic about the prospect of transforming HIV prevention strategies with innovative, long-acting therapies.

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