FDA Approves 2-Month Dosing of Injectable HIV Drug Cabenuva

Lucy Hicks

February 02, 2022

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved rilpivirine and cabotegravir (Cabenuva) to 2-month dosing for adults living with HIV-1 infection.

Cabenuva was first approved by the FDA in January 2021 to be administered once monthly to treat HIV-1 infection in virologically suppressed adults. The medication was the first injectable complete antiretroviral regimen approved by the FDA.

Cabenuva can replace a current treatment in virologically suppressed adults on a stable antiretroviral regimen with no history of treatment failure and no known or suspected resistance to rilpivirine and cabotegravir, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson said in a press release. Janssen and ViiV Healthcare co-developed the injectable antiretroviral medication Cabenuva.

The expanded label approval "marks an important step forward in advancing the treatment landscape for people living with HIV," said Candice Long, the president of infectious diseases and vaccines at Janssen Therapeutics, in a February 1 press release. "With this milestone, adults living with HIV have a treatment option that further reduces the frequency of medication."

This expanded approval was based on global clinical trial of 1045 adults with HIV-1, which found Cabenuva administered every 8 weeks (3 mL dose of both cabotegravir and rilpivirine) to be noninferior to the 4-week regimen (2 mL dose of both medicines). At week 48 of the trial, the proportion of participants with viral loads above 50 copies per milliliter was 1.7% in the 2-month arm and 1.0% in the 1-month arm. The study found that rates of virological suppression were similar for both the 1-month and 2-month regimens (93.5% and 94.3%, respectively).

The most common side effects were injection site reactions, pyrexia, fatigue, headache, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, sleep disorders, dizziness, and rash. Adverse reactions reported in individuals receiving the regimen every 2 months or once monthly were similar. Cabenuva is contraindicated for patients with a hypersensitivity reaction to cabotegravir or rilpivirine or for those receiving carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, St John's wort, and more than one dose of systemic dexamethasone.

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