Safety Concerns Halt Merck & Co’s Once-Weekly HIV Combination
Blow For Company’s HIV Strategy
Merck & Co. is looking to compete in the burgeoning long-acting HIV market, but a safety halt to a Phase II trial could disrupt those plans.
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The partners are halting recruitment out of “an abundance of caution,” but Gilead could decide to exit the alliance if islatravir cannot shake off safety concerns.
The companies hope the combination of islatravir and lenacapavir will result in best-in-class oral and injectable long-term HIV products. A PrEP combo is a longer-term goal.
Having achieved a turnaround in its R&D and commercial fortunes, AstraZeneca’s hopes the opening of a new research center will herald its next wave of novel therapies.