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J&J's Janssen and PATH partner to improve drug formulation that could help prevent HIV infection.
PATH, an international nonprofit organization, has entered into a licensing agreement with Janssen R&D Ireland to develop an injectable form of the HIV medicine rilpivirine, part of Johnson and Johnson.
The agreement allows PATH and its partners, Janssen, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, and the Division of AIDS at the National Institutes of Health, to advance the product to Phase II multisite safety studies in the US and Africa, with trials expected to begin in 2014. The trials will build on the results of ongoing Phase I work to establish the viability of the drug candidate.
An injectable formulation of rilpivirine could become a new pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) intervention against HIV type 1. PrEP is a prevention strategy that involves the use of antiretroviral medications to reduce the risk of HIV infection in healthy uninfected people at risk for acquiring the virus.
Rilpivirine is a highly potent, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor of HIV-1, currently commercialized by Janssen as an oral, once-daily treatment for adults who have not been treated previously with antiretroviral therapy. It is used in combination with other antiretroviral therapies