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GSK and Gilead take HBV drug Viread to Asia

GSK and Gilead have announced a licensing agreement to commercialise Viread for chronic hepatitis B (HBV) treatment in five Asian countries

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Gilead have announced a licensing agreement to commercialise Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for the treatment of the liver disease chronic hepatitis B (HBV) in five Asian countries.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will retain exclusive rights over Viread's commercialisation in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Meanwhile, GSK will have exclusive rights and registration responsibilities for the drug in China. Sales of Viread in their individual Asian territories will leas to the two companies paying each other royalties. GSK and Gilead plan to expand the agreement to cover other countries, including Japan.

"The agreement with Gilead to develop and launch Viread in China builds on GSK's strong heritage in hepatitis B and provides an important addition to GSK's current portfolio in one of our key markets," said Abbas Hussain, president of emerging markets at GSK.

This latest agreement is a modification of a licensing agreement signed by GSK and Gilead in 2002. The 2002 agreement gave GSK exclusive rights to Gilead's first hepatitis B treatment, Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil), in multiple territories including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The deal also gave GSK the right to, under certain circumstances, commercialise tenofovir for the treatment of HBV.

"Chronic hepatitis B infection is a significant global health problem and the need for new effective treatment options is particularly urgent in Asia, where approximately 280 million people are living with this serious, life-threatening disease," said John C Martin, chairman and CEO of Gilead.

Viread is currently approved as an HBV treatment in Australia, Canada, European Union, New Zealand, Turkey and the US. The drug is also indicated, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of HIV infection in adults.

25th November 2009

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