Gilead Sciences received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration Wednesday for a new once-a-day AIDS drug, Emtriva. Known generically as emtricitabine, Emtriva is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Gilead now hopes to combine Emtriva with its other HIV drug, Viread, which is also taken once a day. The company is planning a clinical trial to test such a combination pill against Combivir, rival drug maker Glaxo's once-a-day pill combining lamivudine and AZT. But even as two separate pills, said Gilead CFO John Milligan, Viread and Emtriva could compete immediately against Combivir. Gilead said the wholesale price of Emtriva would be about $250 a month.
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