Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer announced on April 16, 2009 that they are joining forces to tackle HIV. They are creating a company that will specialize in the research, development, and access of HIV treatments by combining existing products, new products already in each company’s pipeline, and existing not-for-profit access programs. Research and development (R&D) of new treatments will be a central focus of the new company, and R&D services will be contracted directly from GSK and Pfizer.
The new company’s main goal is to become an industry leader with a combined product portfolio that includes 11 products already in the market, including GSK's Combivir (lamivudine, zidovudine), Kivexa (abacavir/lamivudine), and Pfizer's Selzentry/Celsentri (maraviroc tablets), and six products currently in development. “By combining Pfizer’s and GlaxoSmithKline’s complementary strengths and capabilities, we are creating a new global leader in HIV and reaffirming our ongoing commitment to the treatment of the disease,” stated Jeff Kindler, Pfizer CEO, in a company press release.
Access to HIV treatments will also be an important focus for the new company. A statement on the HIV Futures company website assures that “not-for-profit pricing for HIV medicines will continue for those countries most in need, and the new company will continue to facilitate new voluntary licenses to diversity production and expand capacity in these markets.” The company will also address the continuing need for research into the global treatment of children living with HIV.
Both GSK and Pfizer have HIV drug access programs already in place around the world. “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,” stated Andrew Witty, GSK chief executive officer, in a company press release. “The new company can reach more patients and accomplish much more for the treatment of HIV globally than either company on its own,” stated Kindler.
More information regarding the new HIV-focused company can be found at http://www.hivfutures.com.