Juluca, which is a drug formed by combining Edurant, developed by Johnson & Johnson, and tivicay, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, for treating HIV recently got the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With most medicines aimed at treating HIV made up of a combination of 3 or more antiretroviral therapies, Juluca is different in that it is a two-drug regimen. It thus reduces the quantity of drugs that patients infected with HIV consume without the efficacy being compromised.
Around the world there are more than 36 million people who are infected with the HIV virus per statistics obtained last year. About 2.1 million of these are children who are under the age of 15 years. Though HIV has been around for decades now, there is still no cure for it. Last year about one million people died from illnesses that were AIDS-related and this brought the number of deaths from the disease since the epidemic started to 35 million.
Among the firms marketing therapies for the treatment of HIV include Gilead Sciences which is dominant and possesses an impressive portfolio. GlaxoSmithKline is another firm having been among the first to develop an antiretroviral known as AZT. Merck and AbbVie are other players in the HIV space besides Johnson & Johnson.
The approval of Jucula coincides with the launch of the Johnson & Johnson Digital Beauty Quickfire Challenge, a competition aiming to find creative skincare solutions from entrepreneurs. The competition closes on January 19, 2018 and entries can be on skincare personalization, skin health management and technology which could be used in the improvement of skin health.
Winning entries will be awarded a cash prize of $50,000 and a residency of one year at an innovation incubator run by Johnson & Johnson where the entrepreneurs will get access to various experts.
“We’re looking for novel, future forward, digital beauty solutions and we’re looking to tackle really tough consumer skincare problems. We’re hoping to find solutions that are meaningful, engaging, that pull technologies from other industries and solutions that are fun,” said Naomi Furgiuele, the global face and sun Research & Development vice president at Johnson & Johnson.
Some of Johnson & Johnson’s skincare products that were initially developed by outside entrepreneurs include Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment and Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask. The two products are attributed to Jay Tapper whose company was eventually acquired by the giant pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare firm.