Following its recent approval of an injectable HIV-1 treatment from the National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has high hopes in developing a cure for the virus in the future.

UK pharmaceutical company GSK is looking to begin human clinical trials of its potential cure for HIV in 2022. The company shared that it is aiming to develop a cure for the disease by 2030.

“Our ultimate goal is always a cure of HIV,” said Kimberly Smith, head of research and development at GSK’s HIV arm ViiV Healthcare. She hoped the company would produce a cure “by 2030 if not sooner”. The potential treatment may give those who have been infected by the virus a chance to heal completely.

The news follows approval from NICE in support of a long-acting injectable HIV-1 treatment, also developed by GSK, which ensures that treatment for HIV only occurs 6 days a year, instead of 365 days with the use of daily pills. GSK is a science-led global healthcare company, pioneering treatments in the HIV virus that can lead to AIDS. GSK and Shionogi additionally entered into a deal in September 2021 in an attempt to extend the time between injections for HIV patients to three months or longer.

HIV currently has no cure, although there is increasing access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. In 2019, it was estimated that there were 105,200 people living with HIV in the UK. 94% of these individuals are diagnosed, meaning that at the time of this estimation, one in 16 living with HIV in the UK did not know that they had the virus. Current HIV treatment highly suppresses viral replication within a person’s body, allowing the patient’s immune system to recover and regain the capacity needed to fight off infections and cancers. The vast majority of people receiving HIV care in the UK in 2019 did so in England, according to the National Aids Trust (NAT).