FOSTER CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a complete response letter (CRL) for the New Drug Application (NDA) for lenacapavir, an investigational, long-acting HIV-1 capsid inhibitor under review for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in heavily treatment-experienced (HTE) people with multi-drug resistant (MDR) HIV-1 infection.
In the CRL, the FDA has cited Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) issues relating to the compatibility of lenacapavir with the proposed container vial as the reason for their action. As previously announced, FDA raised questions about vials made of borosilicate glass and their compatibility with lenacapavir solution, which has resulted in a clinical hold for injectable lenacapavir.
“Gilead intends to provide FDA with a comprehensive plan and corresponding data to use a different vial type. We look forward to discussing this further with FDA over the coming months so that we can make this investigational new therapy available to people living with multidrug-resistant HIV as soon as possible,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences. “People living with multidrug-resistant HIV need new treatment options and we will continue to pursue approval of lenacapavir to offer a much-needed new long-acting treatment option for this population.”
The lenacapavir NDA was submitted to the FDA for the treatment of heavily-treatment experienced people with multi-drug resistant HIV in June 2021 and selected for priority review due to the significant unmet need of this population. The submission was supported by data from the Phase 2/3 CAPELLA trial, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of lenacapavir administered subcutaneously every six months in combination with an optimized antiretroviral background regimen in heavily treatment-experienced people with multi-drug resistant HIV-1 infection. New clinical data on lenacapavir were presented at the 29th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (virtual CROI 2022). The Week 52 findings from the CAPELLA trial demonstrated that lenacapavir, administered subcutaneously every six months in combination with other antiretrovirals, achieved high rates of virologic suppression and clinically meaningful increases in CD4 counts in people living with HIV whose virus was no longer effectively responding to their current therapy. In the CAPELLA study, the most common adverse events observed were injection site reactions (63%), nausea and diarrhea (13% each), and COVID-19 (11%).
Lenacapavir is an investigational compound and is not approved by any regulatory authority for any use and its safety and efficacy are not established. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS.
Lenacapavir is Gilead’s potential first-in-class, investigational long-acting HIV-1 capsid inhibitor in development for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection. Lenacapavir’s multi-stage mechanism of action is distinguishable from currently approved classes of antiviral agents and is designed to provide a new avenue for the development of long-acting therapy options for people living with or at risk for HIV-1. While most antivirals act on just one stage of viral replication, lenacapavir is designed to inhibit HIV-1 at multiple stages of its lifecycle and has no known cross resistance to other existing drug classes. If approved, lenacapavir would be the only HIV-1 treatment option administered twice yearly.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer.
For 35 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of HIV, driving advances in treatment, prevention and cure research. Gilead researchers have developed 11 HIV medications, including the first single-tablet regimen to treat HIV and the first antiretroviral for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection. These advances in medical research have helped to transform HIV into a preventable, chronic condition for millions of people.
Gilead is committed to continued scientific innovation to provide solutions for the evolving needs of people affected by HIV around the world. Through partnerships and collaborations, the company also aims to improve education, expand access and address barriers to care, with the goal of ending the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere.
Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including Gilead’s ability to provide the requested documentation and address the comments in the CRL to the satisfaction of the FDA; the risk that FDA may not approve the NDA for lenacapavir for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in HTE people with MDR HIV-1 infection in a timely manner or at all; Gilead’s ability to initiate, progress and complete clinical trials involving the injectable formulation of lenacapavir for HIV treatment and prevention in the anticipated timelines or at all; the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing and additional clinical trials involving lenacapavir; uncertainties relating to regulatory applications and related filing and approval timelines, including the risk that FDA may not remove the clinical holds for the injectable formulation of lenacapavir for HIV treatment and PrEP; the possibility that Gilead may make a strategic decision to discontinue development of lenacapavir and as a result, lenacapavir may never be successfully commercialized; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These and other risks, uncertainties and factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation and disclaims any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.
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