FDA Approves Gilead Science’s Hepatitis B Drug Originally Designed as HIV Treatment
The FDA on Friday approved California-based Gilead Sciences' "long-awaited drug" adefovir dipivoxil, marketed as Hepsera, for treatment of hepatitis B, the Washington Post reports. Hepsera, which works by blocking reproduction of the virus, is "one of a growing number of spinoffs from the nation's investment in AIDS research" (Gillis, Washington Post, 9/21). Adefovir was originally developed as an HIV treatment but was rejected by the FDA in 1999 over concerns that the necessary high doses of the drug caused kidney damage. As a treatment for hepatitis B, adefovir is administered once a day in a much lower dose (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.