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GSK and Pfizer partner to treat HIV

GSK and Pfizer have launched ViiV Healthcare, a specialist company delivering advances in treatment and care for people with HIV

ViiV Healthcare, a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV, launched today. 

Dr Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare, outlined the company's priorities: to stay relentless in the pursuit of new HIV medicines; to better understand the needs of people living with HIV; and to improve access to current medicines regardless of income or geography.

ViiV Healthcare has 10 medicines currently available including therapies such as Epzicom/Kivexa (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) and Selzentry/Celsentri (maraviroc). Revenues from these available treatments, which generated sales of approximately £1.6bn in 2008, will provide the company with financial stability and support sustained investment in its pipeline and programmes.   

ViiV Healthcare will be pursuing 'multiple' strategies to develop this existing business and to deliver new growth opportunities, including geographic expansion, new collaborations and business development activities. The company also has a pipeline of seven innovative and targeted medicines, including five compounds in phase II development. In total, it has 17 molecules with potential to develop.

ViiV Healthcare will specifically address the current treatment and formulation gaps faced in responding to paediatric needs. Dr Limet said: "One of our first tasks will be to identify partners to help develop fixed-dosed combinations, and we are providing £10m of seed funding to support a public private partnership approach to the discovery of much needed clinical evidence into new HIV/AIDS medicines for children."

The long-standing Positive Action programme, established by GSK in 1992, will be at the core of ViiV Healthcare's partnership programmes, supporting local communities impacted by HIV and AIDS globally. With an emphasis on community engagement, ViiV Healthcare will support efforts to address the challenges of HIV prevention, tackling stigma and discrimination, building capacity and treatment literacy.

As part of this programme, ViiV Healthcare is also committed to a series of initiatives under the new Positive Action for Children Fund, a £50m programme over 10 years focused on the prevention of HIV transmission from mother-to-child, and the health and well being of women, orphans and vulnerable children worldwide.

Dr Limet said that ViiV Healthcare had the potential to "re-energise" the pharmaceutical industry's participation in HIV. He emphasised the strong commitment of its shareholders, GSK and Pfizer and said that he wanted to build upon their heritage and success in developing and providing access to HIV treatments.

"ViiV Healthcare has a sustained commitment to delivering advances in HIV care and treatment. By focusing solely on HIV, we will have the ability to explore a broad and diverse range of opportunities within this specialist area of medicine", he said. "This is ViiV Healthcare's potential and our aim is to deliver for all people living with HIV."   

ViiV Healthcare will have worldwide headquarters in London, and US headquarters based in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. GSK holds an 85 per cent interest in the company and Pfizer holds 15 per cent.

3rd November 2009

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