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Beacon NewsFlashes – July 18, 2011

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Published: Jul 18, 2011 12:13 pm
Beacon NewsFlashes – July 18, 2011

Abbott Laboratories To Develop New Combination Antiretroviral Pill – Abbott Laboratories announced last week that it will be developing a new combination antiretroviral pill consisting of Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Epivir (lamivudine). According to Abbott, the proposed combination would reduce the number of pills patients have to take and would be more cost-effective than purchasing the medications separately. The combination pill would still need to be taken with at least one other antiretroviral. Abbott is also working on a powder (rather than liquid) formulation of Norvir (ritonavir), which could be added to food or drinks and may be easier for children to take. For more information, please see the Abbott Laboratories press release.

Gilead Sciences Agrees To License New HIV Drugs To Generic Drug Companies In Developing Countries – Gilead Sciences has signed agreements with several generic drug companies in India that will allow them to produce low-cost versions of the antiretrovirals Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine) for developing countries. The agreements will extend to the investigational drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, and the combination “Quad” pill (cobicistat/elvitegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir) if the drugs are approved. The agreement makes Gilead the first company to join the Medicines Patent Pool, an effort to bring newer antiretrovirals that are still under patent protection to people in developing nations. However, the agreement has faced criticism from Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders) for excluding certain middle-income countries, such as Thailand and Brazil. For more information, please see the press releases from Gilead Sciences and Médecins Sans Frontières.

AIDSinfo Updates “HIV And Its Treatment” Factsheets – AIDSinfo, a website run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), has updated its factsheets on “HIV and Its Treatment” to include information from the latest DHHS treatment guidelines for adults and adolescents. The factsheets are intended for people with HIV and their friends or families and include information on current treatment recommendations, HIV testing, transmission prevention, and other topics. For more information, please see the updated factsheets (pdf) or the AIDSinfo website.

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