Abbott has won US approval to expand its leading HIV franchise with a once-daily formulation of Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), which the firm says will provide dosing flexibility amongst patients with HIV/AIDS. The original form of the protease inhibitor Kaletra is dosed twice-daily in combination with other anti-HIV medications.

Approval for the new formulation was based on data from a 190-patient study that showed comparable a virologic response to the original Abbott drug when combined with Gilead Sciences’ Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine) over a 48-week period.

Kaletra is currently the most prescribed protease inhibitor in the USA, generating sales of $238 million in the first quarter of this year alone – up 26% compared to the like, year-earlier period.