Johnson and Johnson (J&J) HIV Drug Showing Positive Results

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J&J or Johnson and Johnson, one the biggest names in American Pharmaceutical World, was able to produce an HIV drug which showed promising effects. The drug’s name is Rilpivirine or TMC278. It is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) which has been developed as a combination therapy for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS

The promising drug showed hope and J&J already has a deal with US biotech company Gilead Sciences. With this deal, they are going to make a single pill combining the Rilpivirine with Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir + emticitabine). At present, Gilead sells a once-daily pill Atripla, combination of Truvada and Sustiva of Bristol-Myers Squibb. The pill would be losing all its patency in the next few years.

Shown below is the summary of analysis of J&J to their all new Rilpivirine or TMC278 (After a year of treatment):

Undetectable Levels of the Virus
TMC278 + Truvada = 84.3%
Atripla and similar drugs = 82.3%

Number of Patients dropouts due to side effects
TMC278 + Truvada = 2%
Sustiva Group = 7.2%

Serious side effects (Psychiatric and Neurologic Problems)
TMC278 group = 16%
Sustiva group = 31%

Virologic Failure
TMC278 group = 9%
Sustiva group = 4.8%

Results above were the one shown at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna on last Thursday.

The result on the Virologic Failure alarms the HIV doctors because it would mean that the patient’s HIV level either failed to drop or rebound after an initial drop. The virus might mutate to a resistant one.

Rivals such GlaxoSmithKline and Merck and Co. also revealed their new AIDS pill on the same week. Drug companies has clearly shown that their effort to cure this deadly disease is immeasurable. Hoping that their aim to finally make it curable would happen in the near future.