July 20, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 7:52 pm

Gilead posts progress on once-a-day HIV pill

California drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc., with operations in Branford, says patients dosed once a day with a pill packing a cocktail of its compounds to treat HIV fared as well as those taking a comparable twice-daily regimen against the virus that causes AIDS.

Gilead, based in Foster City, Calif., announced Wednesday the results of its phase 3 trial of its elvitegravir treatment -- now at its half-way point -- at an AIDS conference in Rome, Italy.

After 48 weeks of trial therapy, it said patients getting its single tablet fared as well minimizing the virus in their bloodstreams as those dosed twice daily with the more commonly administered HIV drug raltegravir.

Gilead's pill contains four of its proprietary compounds: elvitegravir; cobicistat, an investigational pharmacoenhancing or "boosting" agent that increases blood levels of certain HIV medicines; Viread« (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate); and Emtriva« (emtricitabine).

Phase III study results are expected in the third quarter of this year.

"Because many treatment-experienced HIV patients have developed resistance to currently available antiretrovirals, identifying novel therapeutic options from the integrase inhibitor class is critical," said Jean-Michel Molina, MD and principal investigator, H˘pital Saint Louis in Paris and University of Paris 7.

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