Foster City, Calif. (AP) - Gilead Sciences Inc. said Monday that
its "Quad" HIV pill, which combines four drugs into one tablet,
met its main goal in a late-stage study.
The company said the drug worked at least as well as Gilead's
three-in-one drug Atripla after 48 weeks of treatment. Gilead
said 88 percent of the patients who took the Quad therapy met a
target for reduced levels of the virus in their blood. It said 84
percent of the Atripla patients met that target.
Rates of side effects and discontinuations were similar in both
groups of patients.
The trial will last 96 weeks. Gilead said it will present a full
report of the results at a scientific conference in early 2012.
The company expects to present results from a second late-stage
trial during by the end of September, and it plans to file for
U.S. approval of the Quad pill during the first quarter of 2012.
The Quad pill combines two approved HIV drugs, emtracitabine and
tenofovir, with elvitegravir and cobicistat, which have not yet
been approved. Emtracitabine and tenofovir are the active
ingredients in Gilead's drug Truvada, and they are two of the
three components in Atripla. Elvitegravir is intended to prevent
HIV from integrating into the genetic material in human cells,
and cobicistat is designed to increase the effectiveness of other
Atripla is the first once-a-day HIV drug. It is marketed by
Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Shares of Gilead Sciences slipped 5 cents to $37.38 in morning