When managing a devastating disease, sometimes a small change can make a big difference. For patients with HIV who are virologically suppressed and stable, that change is on the horizon. Last week, Canada approved GlaxoSmithKline ViiV Healthcare’s long-acting HIV treatment regimen Cabenuva, which will give patients the opportunity to receive a once-monthly injection rather than daily pills.
Canada is the first country to approve the combination therapy, which contains rilpivirine (a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) and cabotegravir (an integrase inhibitor). This approval comes just a few months after a surprising rejection from the FDA; however, Cabenuva’s sister injection – a version dosed every 2 months with similar efficacy – is currently awaiting FDA approval.
Cabenuva’s approval is a win for the HIV community, as it can reduce yearly treatments from 365 oral doses – the standard of care for nearly 25 years – to 12 injections. For many patients, the convenience of a once-monthly regimen is greatly preferred over daily pills.