GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer make HIV/AIDS drug pipeline available to select generic drugmakers

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer's joint venture, ViiV Healthcare, announced that it will make all patents for its HIV/AIDS compounds available to generic drugmakers in 69 countries, including all least-developed countries, all low-income countries and the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of HIV cases.

Under the programme, ViiV will award royalty-free licenses to allow generic companies to manufacture and sell versions of compounds from the companies' HIV/AIDS product portfolio, as well as future pipeline developments. Among the products is an integrase inhibitor that is currently being jointly developed with Shionogi. The companies expect to announce new clinical data on the compound by the end of the month.

Commenting on the impetus for the programme, ViiV CEO Dominique Limet said that as access to HIV/AIDS treatment expands, there will be "an increased need for second- and third-line treatment options once initial treatment failure occurs," adding that making the venture's pipeline available to generic drugmakers will drive down the costs of such drugs.

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