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GSK’s ViiV and Medicines Patent Pool agree deal for HIV prevention

The agreement aims to expand access to HIV prevention in the developing world

ViiV

ViiV Healthcare, which is majority-owned by GSK, and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) have signed a new voluntary licensing agreement to expand access to HIV prevention in the developing world, GSK announced.

The patents in the agreement relate to cabotegravir long-acting (LA) for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the first long-acting HIV prevention medicine, to help enable access in least developed, low-income, lower middle-income and sub-Saharan African countries.

As part of the agreement, selected generic manufacturers will have the opportunity to develop, manufacture and supply low-cost copycat versions of cabotegravir LA for PrEP in 90 countries, subject to required regulatory approvals.

Deborah Waterhouse, chief executive officer at ViiV Healthcare, said: “[This] represents a potentially game-changing moment in HIV prevention. Enabling at-scale access to generic cabotegravir LA for PrEP could play a significant role in averting the transmission of HIV, particularly among women and adolescent girls and help end the HIV epidemic.”

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are approximately 1.5 million new cases of HIV worldwide each year, most of which occur in resource-limited countries, with women and adolescent girls disproportionately affected. Though oral PrEP treatment options are available in many countries, their impact has been limited in some populations as a result of challenges with adherence and stigma.

PrEP is an effective treatment for an at-risk HIV-negative person to reduce their risk of infection, but until recently the treatment was only available as a daily-dose pill. Cabotegravir is the first non-pill option, offering up to two months of protection from a single intramuscular injection. Studies have also shown it has greater efficacy compared with oral pills.

Commenting on the agreement, Charles Gore, MPP executive director, said: “Long-acting technologies open up a whole new dimension that facilitates medicine uptake, and this product brings a much-needed option for those at risk… Rapid access to new technologies is our only hope of hitting the Sustainable Development Goal targets.”

The announcement follows the first regulatory approval of cabotegravir LA for PrEP in the world by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year.

Article by
Emily Kimber

1st August 2022

From: Sales, Healthcare

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