(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences Inc's Sunlenca therapy for HIV infections, paving the way for a drug that requires less frequent dosing than existing treatments.

Sunlenca injection and tablets are expected to cost $42,250 per year during the initial year of therapy, the company told Reuters ahead of the approval.

Treatment of HIV infections typically involves giving a combination of anti-retroviral HIV medicines such as Gilead's Biktarvy and ViiV Healthcare's Triumeq daily to treat the infection.

Gilead's Sunlenca, whose common name is lenacapavir, is given once every six months as an injection, but will be in addition to the current treatment regimen of patients.

(Reporting by Khushi Mandowara, Raghav Mahobe and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Devika Syamnath)

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