New HIV medicine Dovato receives approval by the European Commission

A new two-dose first line HIV medication, Dovato, has received authorization to enter the market from the European Commission.

Close up photo of Dovato medication tablets.

The two-dose first-line HIV therapy, Dovato, is set to change the standard three-dose variety. In July 2019, it received marketing authorisation from the European Commission to begin circulation in Europe. ViiV Healthcare is spearheading the development of this new HIV treatment and previously released Juluca, a two-dose second-line option. 

Dovato has been approved for adults who have not yet received treatment for HIV. In April, Dovato was given clearance to enter circulation in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug will now be making its way into the European market. 

Approval of Dovato in the U.S was based upon findings from a phase 2 testing. 1,433 HIV-diagnosed people with no prior treatment were involved. Depending on the pharmacy, the cost of Dovato averages around $2,300 in the U.S. 

ViiV Healthcare is streamlining HIV treatment by lessening dosage and hopefully warding off possible side effects from conflicting medication. The new HIV therapy promises “the knowledge that efficacy is non-inferior to a three-drug regimen whilst containing fewer antiretrovirals,” according to Deborah Waterhouse, CEO, ViiV Healthcare. 

In 2017, 25,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in Europe. HIV diagnoses in Ireland reached a record high last year, with 528 reported cases in 2018 according to figures released by the HSE—a 7% increase from 2017. This medication could potentially help many people starting treatment by creating a simpler regimen. Though Juluca struggled to gain prominence with people, Dovato is already making itself known as the first two-dose first-line treatment.

ViiV Healthcare launched in 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company, and Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical company.

“The company’s aims to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV,” according to ViiV Healthcare’s website. 

Side effects of Dovato, as reported in testing, include headaches (3%) and insomnia (2%), according to ViiV Healthcare’s website.

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