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Long-acting capsid inhibitor protects
macaques from repeat SHIV challenges (PrEP)
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Because no currently available vaccine can prevent HIV infection, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with antiretrovirals (ARVs) is an important tool for combating the HIV pandemic1,2. Long-acting ARVs promise to build on the success of current PrEP strategies, which must be taken daily, by reducing the frequency of administration3. GS-CA1 is a small-molecule HIV capsid inhibitor with picomolar antiviral potency against a broad array of HIV strains, including variants resistant to existing ARVs, and has shown long-acting therapeutic potential in a mouse model of HIV infection4. Here we show that a single subcutaneous administration of GS-CA1 provides long-term protection against repeated rectal simian–human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenges in rhesus macaques. Whereas all control animals became infected after 15 weekly challenges, a single 300 mg kg−1 dose of GS-CA1 provided per-exposure infection risk reduction of 97% for 24 weeks. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed a correlation between GS-CA1 plasma concentration and protection from SHIV challenges. GS-CA1 levels greater than twice the rhesus plasma protein-adjusted 95% effective concentration conferred 100% protection in this model. These proof-of-concept data support the development of capsid inhibitors as a novel long-acting PrEP strategy in humans.

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