ViiV's Two-Drug HIV Tablet Juluca Is Disruptive, Yet Uptake May Be Slow
Pricing of $31,000 annually for GSK/J&J's single-tablet, two-drug HIV regimen Juluca (dolutegravir/rilpivirine) is on par with marketed fixed-dose combinations that include integrase inhibitors.
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ViiV Healthcare has published results from the first long-term Phase III study for switching from a three-drug combination, to an oral two-drug combination. It disproves resistance and safety fears that have hampered prescriber comfort, however, it may have to dampen its sales ambitions when ViiV’s soon-to-be-approved combo Tivicay/Epivir comes to market.
Gilead's Biktarvy (B/F/TAF) single tablet is poised to become a huge success, surpassing competitors in the HIV market by far, but the GlaxoSmithKline-backed ViiV Healthcare looks better positioned in the long run.
Gilead hopes Biktarvy will enable it to win market share away from ViiV's dolutegravir-containing regimens, but ViiV filed a patent infringement case within hours of the US FDA approval of Gilead's new combo.