FDA approves first monthly injectable to treat HIV

The FDA approved Cabenuva, a long-acting two shot combination that helps HIV patients treat their condition more conveniently and privately, the agency announced Jan. 21.

Cabenuva is administered monthly as an injectable. This can replace HIV patients' current antiretroviral regimen, which requires them to take multiple pills several times a day, cautiously scheduled around meals.

“This approval will allow some patients the option of receiving once-monthly injections in lieu of a daily oral treatment regimen,” John Farley MD, the director of the Office of Infectious Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release. "Having this treatment available for some patients provides an alternative for managing this chronic condition."

The approval was granted to ViiV Healthcare, a U.K.-based drugmaker with its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

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