Johnson & Johnson HIV combination succeeds in mid-stage study

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A cocktail of Johnson & Johnson's HIV compound and an experimental drug from ViiV Healthcare met the main goal of a mid-stage study, becoming the second combination to do so.

J&J's pharmaceuticals business chairman, Paul Stoffels, said the company hopes to have the combination on the market by 2020.

The combination of J&J's rilpivirine and ViiV's cabotegravir showed that it was as good as three pills a day at maintaining minimal viral levels in HIV-infected patients when given together every four or eight weeks.

J&J is co-developing this combination with ViiV, which has GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Pfizer Inc and Shionogi & Co Ltd among its shareholders.

A late-stage study of a second combination, J&J's rilpivirine and ViiV's dolutegravir, has already begun. The companies are planning to develop other combinations.

(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)