The plan will see ViiV provide non-branded drugmakers with royalty-free licenses to manufacture all 16 of its products, including famous names like Combivir, Viracept and Ziagen, for patients in developing and low-income countries.
The offer is available to generic manufacturers operating in 69 of the most HIV-burdened countries according to a Reuters report although further details have not been disclosed.
ViiV has also promised to make patents for all future pipeline products to non-branded drugmakers operating in these countries, including product like the novel integrase inhibitor it is developing in partnership with Japan’s Shionogi.
The rationale, as CEO Dominique Limet explained, is that the way HIV infection is treated in developing countries is evolving and that this requires a different approach to the provision of medication.
Limet said that: “At present the numbers of people in the least developed countries moving onto second line therapy is very low compared to the developed world.”
“However,” continued Limet, “as more people have access to treatment, there is an increased need for second and third-line treatment options once initial treatment failure occurs.”
“This is why we have taken steps to make our entire portfolio and our pipeline available through our royalty-free voluntary licensing and not-for-profit initiatives.”
The move also fits with the model GSK and Pfizer sought to establish with ViiV when the firm was set up last year.
Speaking at the time Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler said: “By combining Pfizer’s and GSK’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.