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Long-acting injection boosts hopes for GSK's HIV business

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Long-acting injection boosts hopes for GSK's HIV business
FILE PHOTO: The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen on top of GSK Asia House in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera/File Photo   -   Copyright  Loriene Perera(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – A long-acting injection developed by GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> and given once a month has proved as effective as standard daily pills for controlling the AIDS virus, lifting prospects for the British drugmaker’s key HIV business.

GSK’s majority-owned ViiV Healthcare unit said on Wednesday the experimental two-drug injection of cabotegravir and rilpivirine maintained similar rates of viral suppression compared with a standard three-drug oral regimen, after 48 weeks of a clinical trial.

The result is a boost for GSK’s goal of developing two-drug HIV treatments that are easier to tolerate than conventional triple-drug therapies. If follows recent positive data from combining two oral drugs.

GSK hopes its new approach will allow it to compete more effectively against Gilead Sciences <GILD.O>, the U.S. drugmaker that currently dominates the HIV market.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Evans)

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