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GSK and Pfizer to create HIV joint venture company

Published on 16/04/09 at 04:14pm

The world's two biggest pharma companies are to join forces to develop and market new treatments for HIV.

GlaxoSmithKline is a leader in the HIV field, but has found the therapy has produced diminishing returns for its investment, as finding a cure for the disease remains elusive and research costs continue to increase.

The companies say the move will create a new world-leading HIV company focused solely on research, development and marketing HIV medicines, which will be more sustainable and broader in scope than either company's individual efforts.

GSK will own 85% of the company, which is as yet unnamed, with Pfizer holding the remaining 15% equity share at the outset.

However if a number of promising Pfizer products prove to be successful, its share in the company could rise as high as 30 per cent.

By combining the two portfolios, the new company will hold a 19% share of the market and have an industry leading pipeline.

"Today marks a definitive step by GSK to renew our focus and deliver more medicines, more efficiently, to people living with HIV/AIDS, said Andrew Witty, Chief Executive of GSK.  

''At the core of this specialist business is a broad portfolio of products and pipeline assets, which can be more effectively leveraged through the new company's strong revenue base and dedicated research capability. HIV remains a global threat with increasing incidence and viral resistance. This new company will be better placed to meet these challenges and improve access to treatments."

Jeff Kindler, Chief Executive at Pfizer said: "With the strength of the companies' current HIV products, as well as the complementary fit of Pfizer's HIV pipeline and GSK's global distribution capabilities, the new company is well positioned to bring new and improved medicines to patients with more speed and efficiency. The new company can reach more patients and accomplish much more for the treatment of HIV globally than either company on its own."

The new company will have a product portfolio of 11 marketed products including market-leading therapies such as Combivir, Kivexa and Selzentry/Celsentri. Based on 2008 pro-forma results, this combined portfolio generated sales of approximately £1.6 billion revenues.

The company's R&D will focus on developing innovative HIV treatments and formulations that improve adherence and overcome resistance to the virus.

The company will have an industry-leading pipeline of six innovative and targeted medicines, including four compounds in phase II development. Altogether, the new company will have 17 molecules at its disposal to develop in fixed-dose combinations as possible new HIV treatments.

The new company will contract R&D services directly from GSK and Pfizer to develop these medicines. It will also invest in early-stage research and discovery of HIV medicines, and will benefit from a new Research Alliance Agreement with GSK and Pfizer. Under this new alliance, GSK and Pfizer will continue to conduct discovery research and development into HIV medicines and the new company will invest in this activity and will have exclusive rights of first negotiation in relation to any new HIV-related medicine developed by either GSK or Pfizer.

 

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