Highlights on the Development, Related Patents, and Prospects of Lenacapavir: The First-in-Class HIV-1 Capsid Inhibitor for the Treatment of Multi-Drug-Resistant HIV-1 Infection

Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 May 28;59(6):1041. doi: 10.3390/medicina59061041.


The multidrug-resistant (MDR) human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection is an unmet medical need. HIV-1 capsid plays an important role at different stages of the HIV-1 replication cycle and is an attractive drug target for developing therapies against MDR HIV-1 infection. Lenacapavir (LEN) is the first-in-class HIV-1 capsid inhibitor approved by the USFDA, EMA, and Health Canada for treating MDR HIV-1 infection. This article highlights the development, pharmaceutical aspects, clinical studies, patent literature, and future directions on LEN-based therapies. The literature for this review was collected from PubMed, authentic websites (USFDA, EMA, Health Canada, Gilead, and NIH), and the free patent database (Espacenet, USPTO, and Patent scope). LEN has been developed by Gilead and is marketed as Sunlenca (tablet and subcutaneous injection). The long-acting and patient-compliant LEN demonstrated a low level of drug-related mutations, is active against MDR HIV-1 infection, and does not reveal cross-resistance to other anti-HIV drugs. LEN is also an excellent drug for patients having difficult or limited access to healthcare facilities. The literature has established additive/synergistic effects of combining LEN with rilpivirine, cabotegravir, islatravir, bictegravir, and tenofovir. HIV-1 infection may be accompanied by opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis (TB). The associated diseases make HIV treatment complex and warrant drug interaction studies (drug-drug, drug-food, and drug-disease interaction). Many inventions on different aspects of LEN have been claimed in patent literature. However, there is a great scope for developing more inventions related to the drug combination of LEN with anti-HIV/anti-TB drugs in a single dosage form, new formulations, and methods of treating HIV and TB co-infection. Additional research may provide more LEN-based treatments with favorable pharmacokinetic parameters for MDR HIV-1 infections and associated opportunistic infections such as TB.

Keywords: GS-6207; HIV-1 capsid; Lenacapavir; Sunlenca; patent; prospects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents* / pharmacology
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Capsid
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Opportunistic Infections*
  • Tuberculosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / drug therapy


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antitubercular Agents

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.