HPTN 083, the ongoing study to investigate the usefulness of an injectable medication (cabatogravir) for HIV prevention, has been halted, as the data clearly indicated that cabotegravir was highly effective at preventing HIV. Studies can be halted when the drug being researched shows effectiveness, so that those receiving placebo will no longer be in a “control” group, and can also benefit from the medication(s) being studied.
This is great news. Since 2012, only one method of pharmaceutical HIV prevention (known as PrEP), has existed. This oral medication, Truvada, is a once-per-day pill. (Gilead recently got approval for another oral medication, Descovy, but it is not approved for use by women.)
Cabatogravir, injected every eight weeks, was found to be highly effective in preventing HIV infection.
“Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people are newly diagnosed with HIV” worldwide, Myron S. Cohen, MD, the co–principal investigator of the HPTN trial and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a press release. “To lower that number, we believe more prevention options are needed in addition to currently available oral tablets for daily use. If approved, a new injectable agent, such as long-acting cabotegravir administered every two months, could play an important role in reducing HIV transmission and helping to end the HIV epidemic.” (from POZ.com)
ViiV Healthcare, the manufacturer, will be working to obtain FDA approval for this medication for gay and bi-sexual men and transgender women.
The ongoing HPTN 084 study is assessing long-acting cabotegravir PrEP among women.