HIV treatment Symtuza receives vital NHS England funding

Clinicians now able to routinely prescribe new HIV medication

Symtuza gets NHS backing in England

Janssen, the pharmaceutical arm of Johnson & Johnson, today announced that NHS England will provide funding for once-daily single tablet HIV treatment. This new treatment will now be routinely available across England to all patients over  12 years of age and 40kg in weight who are HIV-1 positive.

We are delighted that NHSE has provided vital funding for this treatment option; enabling access for individuals who require a darunavir-based STR to effectively control their HIV, with the potential to support adherence to treatment

Jennifer Lee, Director of HEMAR and Advocacy at Janssen

The treatment is a darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (or D/C/F/TAF) close combination therapy, and is a single fixed dose.

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Advances in HIV treatment mean that many people living with HIV who are on therapy are living longer, with a near-normal life expectancy. HIV can now be managed as a chronic disease and, as such, treatment simplification strategies can help prevent long-term toxicity and improve adherence and quality of life.

A unique HIV-1 regimen

D/C/F/TAF is the only single tablet regimen indicated for the treatment of this patient group that combines the proven efficacy and durability of darunavir with the potentially improved renal laboratory and bone mineral density profile of F/TAF.  

This milestone reflects our efforts to help simplify the way in which HIV is treated, supporting people living with HIV to achieve an undetectable viral load while enjoying an improved quality of life. We are thankful for NHSE’s collaboration throughout this process.

Jennifer Lee, Janssen

This therapy can offer the convenience of an STR alongside the high genetic barrier to the resistance provided by darunavir, while being generally well tolerated.

A new treatment combination

D/C/F/TAF is a fixed-dose combination of four active substances available as film-coated tablets:

  • Darunavir inhibits the HIV protease and prevents the formation of mature infectious virus particles.
  • Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide are substrates and competitive inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase.
  • Cobicistat enhances the systemic exposure of darunavir and has no direct antiviral effect.

The most common adverse events for D/C/F/TAF are headaches, diarrhea, nausea, and rash (including macular, maculopapular, papular, erythematous, pruritic rash, generalized rash, and allergic dermatitis). For complete prescribing and safety information, click here.