NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to introduce a new HIV pill that, paired with only one other drug, could be a "game-changer" to the long unchanged three-drug combination, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A three-drug regimen has been the standard treatment for HIV since the mid-1990s, when doctors discovered that combining a new antiretroviral drug with two drugs from an earlier class could prevent the drug from developing resistance.
Now, the U.K.-based drug company believes its latest HIV pill is powerful enough to be paired with just one other medication. The proposed regimen would also produce fewer side effects, said GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty, according to the Journal.
Analysts have said that GlaxoSmithKline's early focus on two-drug therapies could potentially yield it a bigger slice of the market as doctors begin to prefer the regimen. It could also result in GlaxoSmithKline overshadowing Gilead Sciences (GILD) in the HIV treatment sector within three years.
The proposed drug, dolutegravir, works to rapidly reduce the level of the virus in the blood. Dolutegravir has already been authorized by the FDA for use as part of a traditional triple therapy.
So far, patients haven't reported any resistance to the medication, the Journal added.
GlaxoSmithKline's majority-owned pharmaceutical company ViiV Healthcare, in which the drug manufacturer Pfizer (PFE) and Japanese biotechnology company Shionogi (SGIOY) also hold a stake, is planning to spearhead the drug.
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline closed higher on Friday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
TheStreet Ratings team rates GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, the team also finds weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: GSK