European citizens living with HIV will soon have a long-acting treatment option.
According to Health Europa, the E.U.’s European Medicines Agency announced its approval on Monday for Viiv Healthcare’s vocabria. Vocabria is a cabotegravir injection that blocks HIV cells from multiplying. The E.U. has approved of the use of vocabria in Rekambys injections and Edurant tablets, which are both made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
This announcement is big. The reason being, this will be the first time that European citizens living with HIV will have the option of long-acting treatment. Instead of daily oral tablets, patients could receive the new treatment once a month or once every two months. According to a Viiv press release, the treatment is best for adults who have reached HIV suppression and haven’t shown any resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
“The long-acting regimen of cabotegravir and rilpivirine was as effective as treatment with current daily antiviral therapy in the clinical trials in maintaining viral suppression, is generally well tolerated, and could change the treatment experience for some people living with HIV that may have challenges with daily HIV therapies,” said the University Hospital in Santiago de Compostela’s Dr. Antonio Antela in the release.
“There has been significant progress in the way HIV is managed and perceived over the past 30 years. However, for many people living with or at risk of HIV, stigma and discrimination remains and often prevents them from speaking out or seeking treatment,” said Professor Giovanni Guaraldi.
The professor then added, “This long-acting regimen could mean people living with HIV no longer need daily therapy, maintaining viral load suppression with just 12 or six injection days a year and eliminating a daily reminder of their condition. My hope is that as medicines continue to improve, they will lead to further significant developments, particularly for some of those who still face discrimination.”