The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s Descovy to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection in men and transgender women who have sex with men. The approval does not include use of the drug by women to prevent HIV infection, reports Reuters Health.
Descovy, a combination drug, was approved in 2016 to treat people already infected with HIV. It contains a newer formulation of a drug used in Gilead’s older medication, Truvada, which has been used to treat people infected with HIV since 2004. Truvada was also approved as a daily pill for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), in 2012. Gilead has said it aims to transition PrEP use from Truvada to Descovy before the older drug loses patent protection, which is expected next year.
The report says Descovy was shown in clinical trials to be less toxic than Truvada to the kidneys and bones. But some Aids advocacy groups question whether it makes sense to prioritize Descovy for PrEP close to the time that cheaper generic versions of Truvada are to become available.
[link url="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gilead-sciences-fda/u-s-fda-approves-gileads-descovy-for-hiv-prevention-idUSKBN1WI29I"]Reuters Health report[/link]