Health-care products maker Johnson & Johnson has received U.S. approval to sell a new HIV drug called Intelence for patients with resistance to other therapies

Johnson & Johnson has received U.S. approval to sell a new HIV drug called Intelence for patients with resistance to other therapies. The drug is also known as TMC125 or etravirine, is a new member of the family of AIDS-fighting drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI). More than two-dozen drugs are approved for fighting the deadly HIV virus. Patients need new options because HIV can mutate to resist existing treatments. The new tablet is the first NNRTI to work for patients who have developed resistance to medicines in the same family.

The drug's wholesale cost will be $5.45 per tablet. The approved dosing is two tablets twice per day, or a total of four tablets daily. Medicines in different classes attack the virus at various stages in its cycle of infection and replication. NNRTIs block a key enzyme that HIV uses to replicate.