FDA approves Gilead HIV drug to treat hepatitis


WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Viread for treating hepatitis B, the company announced Monday.

The drug, known generically as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, became available for treating HIV infections in 2001.

“Viread will be an important new treatment option, and its approval represents a significant step forward in the fight against chronic hepatitis B,” said Ira Jacobson, chief of the gastroenterology and hepatology department at Weill Cornell Medical College.

A once-daily tablet, Viread is part of Gilead’s wider HIV franchise, which also includes the drugs Emtriva, Truvada and Atripla. Together, the drugs had sales of $3 billion in 2007, according to Gilead financial data.

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