GlaxoSmithKline says that it has started Phase III clinical trials of an investigational oral anti-HIV offering, aplaviroc (873140), a so-called entry inhibitor, which binds to one of the receptors on the immune cell surface that is essential for HIV entry and infection.

“The availability of an orally administered entry inhibitor may provide an important treatment option for people infected with HIV-1,” commented Dr Joseph Eron, Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Principal Director of the UNC AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. “It is imperative that companies like GSK continue with their research and development efforts to expand the number of antiretroviral drugs available with different modes of action or improved efficacy and toxicity profiles.”

In addition to aplaviroc, GSK has two investigational compounds in Phase II development – a next-generation protease inhibitor, 640385, and a next-generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, 695634. Both compounds are being evaluated for treatment of those patients whose virus has become resistant to multiple antiretroviral drugs – a growing issue in AIDS treatment.