GSK's injectable HIV drug shows promise over daily pills

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) logo

(Reuters) - British drugmaker GSK said on Wednesday its long-acting injectable HIV therapy showed promise in keeping the viral load suppressed compared to daily oral treatment, especially in individuals facing challenges with pill intake.

The interim analysis of a late-stage trial on the therapy known as Cabenuva demonstrated superior efficacy in maintaining viral load suppression compared to daily oral therapy in individuals with a history of adherence challenges to oral antiretroviral treatment, which is used to suppress and mitigate the progression of the disease.

The lack of consistent adherence is a common reason why some people living with HIV struggle to keep the virus in check, GSK said.

The drug falls under GSK's ViiV Healthcare business, in which Pfizer and Shionogi hold small stakes.

Strong sales of medicines for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, were one of the drivers behind the company's performance last year, generating 6.44 billion pounds ($8.13 billion) in annual sales. It is a key element of CEO Emma Walmsley's push to enhance investor confidence in the strength of GSK's drug development pipeline.

Cabenuva sales more than doubled to 708 million pounds last year.

($1 = 0.7921 pounds)

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)