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Gilead and Strides partner in HIV

Published on 21/01/15 at 05:13pm
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Gilead is partnering with India-based pharma firm Strides Arcolab in a licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute an HIV treatment in developing countries.

Strides has non-exclusive rights to the US firm’s Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF), both as a single agent product and in combination with other drugs, and the firm will be looking at launching its product by mid-2016.

The license is valid for 112 countries accounting for more than 30 million people living with HIV. Pending FDA approval of TAF the Indian company will receive a technology transfer from Gilead, enabling it to manufacture low-cost versions of the pill for emerging nations.

TAF is a novel nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor used in HIV patients in the treatment of AIDS, and has demonstrated high antiviral efficacy at a dose 10 times lower than Gilead’s Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 34 million people in the world are living with HIV. The virus is more common in sub-Saharan African countries, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

This deal is not the first time Gilead has teamed-up with an Indian firm, as last year the US company gave Indian generic drugmakers the opportunity to make cheap copies of its new hepatitis C pill Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) in an effort to make it more affordable.

Seven firms from South Asia including names such Ranbaxy and Cipla will be able to manufacture and sell the therapy for $900 for a full course of treatment. Comparable to the Strides deal confirmed today, the Indian company’s involved will be able to sell their copycat medicine to 91 developing countries at around 1% of the price being paid in the US.

Tom Robinson

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