Gilead inks one combo HIV drug pact as it explores new ties with J&J

HIV powerhouse Gilead and Johnson & Johnson's Tibotec subsidiary are joining forces on a combo HIV treatment. Under a new pact Gilead will combine its new boosting agent cobicistat with J&J's Prezista, a protease inhibitor. This new therapy follows a well-traveled development path as drug companies advance new HIV drugs that require fewer pills and offer greater potency.

Cobicistat--now in Phase III--is designed to increase the blood levels of HIV drugs, making it an ideal candidate for more combo product deals. Interestingly, the companies also outlined ongoing talks on a separate pact  on the development and commercialization of a future single-tablet regimen combining Prezista with Gilead's Emtriva, its experimental GS 7340 and cobicistat. Gilead would be responsible for the development and commercialization of the new STR on a worldwide basis.

"Cobicistat's formulation and clinical profile provides us with the flexibility to co-formulate and develop new combination products, including the potential to co-formulate with protease inhibitors such as Prezista," said Norbert W. Bischofberger, PhD, Gilead's EVP of R&D.

- see the Tibotec release
- here's the Reuters story