Gilead Shot Prevents All HIV Cases in Trial of African Women

Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental twice-yearly shot prevented 100% of HIV cases in women and adolescent girls in Africa, the first successful big trial of what’s hoped to become a powerful new drug regimen for fending off the virus.

Bloomberg
First Published20 Jun 2024, 11:15 PM IST
Gilead Shot Prevents All HIV Cases in Trial of African Women
Gilead Shot Prevents All HIV Cases in Trial of African Women

(Bloomberg) -- Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental twice-yearly shot prevented 100% of HIV cases in women and adolescent girls in Africa, the first successful big trial of what’s hoped to become a powerful new drug regimen for fending off the virus.

Gilead hopes its new long-acting shot lenacapavir will provide an easier-to-use option compared to other HIV prevention drugs that are either daily pills or must be injected every two months. The two yearly injections could be done at regularly scheduled doctor visits, making it easy for people to get.

HIV newly infects about 1.3 million people a year worldwide, and while current drug treatment is effective, researchers are seeking better ways to prevent the potentially lethal disease. While a vaccine hasn’t been developed, Gilead’s latest drug prevention regimen presents a potential option.

Gilead shares rose as much as 8.3% in New York, their biggest intraday gain since October 2022. Before Thursday, the stock was down 22% this year.

The study result was a “near best-case” scenario for the company, RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams said in a note to clients. He said the preventive use of the drug could bring in $1.7 billion or more in annual sales. Lenacapavir is already approved under the brand name Sunlenca to treat HIV that’s resistant to other medicines, but it’s not a big seller for Gilead.

The trial involved about 5,300 women and female adolescents ages 16 to 25 in South Africa and Uganda, some of whom who received Gilead’s lenacapavir and others who received older once-daily drugs from Gilead, including Truvada or Descovy.  

No cases of HIV occurred among women in the trial who received the twice-yearly shot, Gilead said in a statement, significantly lower than the background rate of infections in those populations. The shot was also superior to Truvada.

The results were better than even Gilead had expected. No other HIV-prevention strategy “has had zero infections before” in a late-stage study, said Jared Baeten, a doctor who heads HIV development for Gilead. 

Gilead is conducting a second prevention trial of lenacapavir in men who have sex with men, as well as transgender women and transgender men. That trial, which also includes people in the US, is expected to yield results as soon as late 2024. If successful, Gilead expects to file for regulatory approval for preventive use of lenacapavir in the US and other countries. 

(Updates with comments from analyst in fifth paragraph and Gilead executive in eighth.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
First Published:20 Jun 2024, 11:15 PM IST
HomeNewsGilead Shot Prevents All HIV Cases in Trial of African Women

Most Active Stocks

Tata Steel

172.30
03:59 PM | 8 JUL 2024
-2.45 (-1.4%)

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation

299.25
03:59 PM | 8 JUL 2024
11.05 (3.83%)

Bharat Electronics

334.15
03:48 PM | 8 JUL 2024
10.15 (3.13%)

Indian Oil Corporation

170.15
03:59 PM | 8 JUL 2024
-1 (-0.58%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

Fertilizers & Chemicals Travan

1,115.80
03:51 PM | 8 JUL 2024
98.65 (9.7%)

One 97 Communications

472.05
03:59 PM | 8 JUL 2024
35.45 (8.12%)

Indian Railway Finance Corporation

202.10
03:58 PM | 8 JUL 2024
13.8 (7.33%)

IRCON International

326.90
03:56 PM | 8 JUL 2024
19.15 (6.22%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    74,093.0073.00
    Chennai
    74,819.000.00
    Delhi
    74,819.00290.00
    Kolkata
    74,674.00-145.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    102.86/L0.00
    Chennai
    100.75/L-0.17
    Kolkata
    104.95/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    OPEN IN APP
    HomeMarketsPremiumInstant LoanMint Shorts