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AIDS Divisions of 2 Large Drug Makers Form Company to Focus on the Disease

Two of the world’s biggest drug makers last week spun off their divisions that manufacture AIDS drugs and combined them into one company focusing on the disease.

The new company, ViiV Healthcare, will initially be 85 percent controlled by GlaxoSmithKline and 15 percent controlled by Pfizer. With headquarters in London, the company initially has a portfolio of 10 licensed drugs, including some of the earliest, like AZT and lamivudine, and later ones, like maraviroc, with combined sales of about $2.7 billion in 2008. It also has seven drugs in the pipeline.

The companies say they will try to develop new drugs and new formulations of existing ones, like combination doses for children. ViiV Healthcare will also seek partnerships with other companies to develop multidrug cocktails.

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