Hope for HIV/AIDS patients as FDA approves injectable drug – Though it is very expensive

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 – The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Sunlenca, an injectable therapy to suppress HIV for patients who suffered drug resistance to other regimens.

Experts say the new injectable, which works with less frequent dosing, can be a game changer for those whose infections don’t respond to other treatments.

Developed by Gilead Sciences, the drug is the first of a new class called capsid inhibitors, which work by blocking the protein shell, or capsid, of the virus, disrupting multiple stages of the viral life cycle.

In a clinical trial, 83% of patients taking Sunlenca with a combination of other drugs achieved an undetectable viral load after about a year.

Permission was granted based on a trial involving 72 patients with HIV who had high viral loads and were resistant to several types of medicines.

The drug will cost $42,250 (5.1 million) for the two shots, with users than required to fork out $39,000 (4.7 million) a year for maintenance shots.


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