The world's first two-drug regimen designed to treat HIV has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
Juluca is a once-daily tablet combining dolutegravir (ViiV Healthcare) and rilpivirine (Janssen), two drugs that were already approved to help fight the virus.
The pill will ease side effects for patients who have to take three or more drugs as part of their standard treatment, but will only be available to patients with HIV-1 infections whose virus is currently suppressed on a stable regimen for at least six months.
The FDA granted approval of Juluca to GlaxoSmithKline Plc's ViiV Healthcare, putting the company ahead of Gilead Sciences in the race to launch a two-drug combo.
Both drugmakers are hoping to launch several new treatment regimens over the next few years, and the FDA will decide on Gilead's competing two-drug combination by February.