ViiV’s Triumeq to end Gilead’s monopoly in HIV

The recent approval of ViiV Healthcare’s once-daily, single-tablet anti-HIV regimen Triumeq by the US FDA and the European Commission (EC) will mean that the market monopoly currently held by Gilead Sciences will soon come to an end, according to an analyst at GlobalData.

Triumeq is the second product to emerge from the pipeline of ViiV since the company was set up as a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

Dr Moritz Herrmann, GlobalData’s analyst covering infectious diseases, states that Triumeq is the first drug of its kind to demonstrate a superior clinical profile to Gilead Sciences’ Atripla, mostly due to the former’s improved tolerability.

Herrmann explained: “Besides having superior antiretroviral efficacy in treatment-naïve adults compared with Atripla, Triumeq will also benefit from being the first once-daily, single-tablet anti-HIV regimen that does not contain tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).

“TDF, which is contained in all of Gilead’s single-tablet regimens, can induce significant bone toxicity and is not suitable for use in patients with impaired kidney function. Therefore, Triumeq could expand into these patient populations with high unmet needs.”

However, GlobalData anticipates that, while Triumeq will capture some of the market share from Atripla, which generated global sales of over $3.6 billion in 2013, Gilead will continue to be a major player in this sector, as it is developing an updated version of its drug Stribild.

“In this new regimen, TDF is substituted with a more potent, novel tenofovir prodrug, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate, which can be administered at doses 30-fold lower than those required with TDF treatment,” Herrmann continued.

“Phase II clinical trial data indicate reduced kidney and bone toxicity from the new regimen compared with Stribild, and if phase III trials confirm these reduced toxicities, Gilead’s upcoming treatment may be well-positioned to compete against ViiV’s Triumeq.”

While Triumeq will be first on the market, Gilead’s strong position in HIV will give it a good platform for promoting Stribild as an improved version of an existing, highly prescribed drug.

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Viiv gets US approval for Atripla rival Triumeq

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