The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug, Descovy, to treat HIV.
Descovy is a combination of drugs for the treatment of HIV-1 infection, the most common type of HIV in adults. Descovy is a combination of two already-approved drugs and contains a newer version of a key ingredient called tenofovir, the drug’s maker Gilead Sciences said.
Descovy’s formulation only requires a tenth of the dose of similar HIV medication which is likely to be a big benefit for the bones and kidneys of the people living with HIV.
The once-daily pill works by interfering with a special protein necessary for the HIV virus to multiply. Keeping the amount of HIV in the blood low is key to suppressing symptoms.
“Descovy represents an important evolution in HIV care,” Gilead’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Norbert Bischofberger said in a statement.
“It offers patients a simple and effective combination with a safety profile that has the potential to improve health and Gilead is now able to offer patients and providers in the United States a range of options from our TAF based-portfolio―designed to help address the diverse needs of HIV patients worldwide.”
The pill also comes with strict warnings about certain side effects, and Gilead has yet to announce the cost of the drug.
Gilead also produces Truvada, the once-daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill taken to help prevent HIV infection.