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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Momentum builds in delivering long-acting PrEP for HIV prevention

Health Industry Hub | August 5, 2022 |
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Pharma News: A series of announcements at AIDS 2022, the 24th International AIDS Conference, have built the momentum for global access to long-acting cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention.

Oral PrEP was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration a decade ago, but uptake and adherence have been limited, partly because some people have difficulty taking daily pills. In recent years, studies have shown that CAB-LA, administered by injection once every two months, is a safe and effective alternative to oral PrEP. CAB-LA is approved for PrEP only in the US, but ViiV Healthcare has submitted marketing applications in additional countries.

“Long-acting PrEP could play a major role in ending the HIV pandemic, but right now, very few people can get it,” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, President of conference host IAS – the International AIDS Society – and International Co-Chair of AIDS 2022, said.

“Scaling up affordable access to this game-changing prevention tool must be a top global priority.”

ViiV Healthcare and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) signed a voluntary licensing agreement for patents relating to CAB-LA for HIV PrEP to help enable access in least developed, low-income, lower-middle-income and sub-Saharan African countries. Through this agreement, selected generic manufacturers will have the opportunity to develop, manufacture and supply generic versions of CAB-LA for PrEP in 90 countries, subject to required regulatory approvals. ViiV Healthcare and MPP will now work closely with stakeholders and selected generic manufacturers to enable access to generic CAB-LA for PrEP as soon as possible.

“We are delighted to sign this voluntary licence with ViiV for cabotegravir LA for PrEP,” Charles Gore, MPP Executive Director, said.

“Long-acting technologies open up a whole new dimension that facilitates medicine uptake, and this product brings a much-needed option for those at risk. This licence was negotiated in double-quick time and is another example of MPP’s continued commitment to making innovation available and affordable in low- and middle-income countries in the shortest possible time. Rapid access to new technologies is our only hope of hitting the Sustainable Development Goal targets.”

“This announcement represents a potentially game-changing moment in HIV prevention,” Deborah Waterhouse, CEO at ViiV Healthcare, said.

“Enabling at-scale access to generic cabotegravir LA for PrEP could play a significant role in averting the transmission of HIV, particularly amongst women and adolescent girls, and help end the HIV epidemic. I am proud that through our long-standing partnership with MPP, we continue to play our part in widening access for people in resource-limited countries to new innovative medicines.”

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