Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen has launched its once-daily, fixed-dose HIV combination therapy Rezolsta in the UK.__

Rezolsta combines the company’s big-selling HIV therapy Prezista (darunavir) and Gilead Science’s Tybost (cobicistat). The pill, which is indicated for use in combination with other antiretrovirals, was approved in Europe at the end of last month.

Anna Geretti of the University of Liverpool said the new formulation means that, for the first time, patients will be able to take the UK’s most-prescribed protease inhibitor [Prezista] and a boosting agent once a day, in a single tablet, in combination with other required antiretrovirals. “Reducing the pill burden in this way could increase patient adherence to treatment,” she added.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, with 6,000 new diagnoses confirmed each year. It is no longer considered a fatal illness in developed countries, Janssen noted, but adherence is “essential in order to prevent low drug levels in the blood allowing the virus to become resistant to treatment”.

The company cited evidence which demonstrates that 39% of patients show less than 90% adherence to their treatment regimen. With Rezolsta, “we believe this convenient ‘one tablet, once daily’ regimen will be a valuable addition to the options available”, said Peter Barnes, Janssen medical director.