Single-pill combination HIV drug launched in UK

Stribild web Stribild, a four-drug combination single tablet for treatment of HIV, is now available in the UK.

The Gilead drug, which combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil, was approved by the European Commission a day before its UK launch.

It offers patients who are new to antiretroviral treatment or have shown no resistance to its component drugs a convenient and effective daily dose.

An estimated 96,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and prevalence has trebled in the last decade, due largely to effective treatments.

However, adherence to complex combination therapies is a challenge for many patients, and treatment guidelines from the British HIV Association recommend simplification of drug regimens.

The EC approval was based on the results of two 48-week phase 3 clinical trials in which Stribild compared favourably with two other combination therapies, one with three drugs in one tablet and the other with four drugs in two tablets.

Stribild is already available in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Two of its components are investigational drugs not yet approved as stand-alone agents.

Dr Anton Pozniak, Director of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s HIV Service, commented: “In pivotal studies, once-daily Stribild was highly effective and generally well tolerated with a favourable safety profile, and is an important advance for HIV patients in the UK.”

US-based biopharma firm Gilead has now launched three single-tablet HIV combination therapies in Europe.