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GSK’s ViiV and Halozyme to collaborate on ‘ultra-long acting’ HIV drugs

Published on 22/06/21 at 09:14am

ViiV Healthcare, the specialist HIV company majority owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is to collaborate with Halozyme Therapeutics, giving it exclusive access to its ENHANZE drug delivery technology for specific targets used in the treatment and prevention of HIV. 

Under the terms of the agreement, ViiV Healthcare will make an upfront payment of $40 million to Halozyme for the exclusive license to four HIV small and large molecule targets.

The company will also be obligated to make potential future payments of up to $175 million in development and commercial milestones per target.

The PH20 enzyme breaks down a substance called hyaluronan (HA) that is found in the body’s subcutaneous space (under the skin) that acts as a barrier to the flow of fluid. By breaking down HA locally at the injection site and temporarily removing that barrier, large amounts of fluid can be injected into the subcutaneous space and dispersed.

This facilitates the rapid delivery of large volume fluids by subcutaneous injection, potentially reducing the treatment burden of injectable drugs and providing optimised treatment options to patients. The HA is restored under the skin via normal processes within 24-48 hours.

Kimberly Smith, Head of Research & Development at ViiV Healthcare, said: “Many people living with HIV and those vulnerable to HIV tell us that for a variety of reasons, taking medicine every day is a challenge, and we have listened to them.

“We believe long-acting medicines are the future of HIV therapies and will help address these unmet needs. Our collaboration with Halozyme will keep us at the forefront of developing additional, innovative new options for HIV treatment and prevention as we work towards reducing the burden of HIV treatment.”

Lilly Subbotin

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