Research breakthrough could lead to annual injection to prevent HIV

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) are developing a new HIV medication that could be effective for up to one year, transforming the lives of people living with the disease. A study on this research has been published today in Nature Materials, a leading peer-reviewed biomedical research journal.

Preclinical work in mice and rhesus macaques monkeys has demonstrated that a single injection of a new drug developed by UNMC, extra-long acting cabotegravir (CAB-XLA), is effective in achieving blood drug levels known to be active against HIV for up to one year.

Current antiretroviral drug regimens do an excellent job of suppressing HIV. However, they require people living with HIV to take medicines every day in order to stay virus-free.

For people living with HIV, especially in low- and middle-income countries, this regimen can be difficult to maintain. Missing daily doses of medicine can cause the virus to rebound and allow other chronic diseases to develop.

The UNMC has developed the world’s first potential yearlong antiretroviral (ARV) for HIV prevention by converting a month-long ARV drug into a once-per-year therapeutic. CHAI has worked with UNMC to show that the drug is stable and can be formulated for future human injections.

The study describes what could function as a vaccine mimetic to protect the body against HIV infection for an extended time period.

Read the study now