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GSK, Pfizer Announce Combined HIV/AIDS Drug Business

April 16, 2009

Pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have announced that they will combine their HIV/AIDS drug businesses into a new, single company, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the deal, GSK initially will hold 85% of the joint venture, while Pfizer will hold 15%, the Journal reports (Whalen/Cimilluca, Wall Street Journal, 4/16). The new company will hold a 19% share of the global HIV market and include 11 products already on the market, Reuters reports. In addition, the new company will include a pipeline of six new drugs, four of which are in mid-stage Phase II development (Hirschler, Reuters, 4/16).

The new company also will have 17 molecules it can use for the development of fixed-dose combination therapies. The research services to develop the medicines will be contracted directly from GSK and Pfizer (Kelley, Bloomberg, 4/16). The Journal reports that Dominique Limet -- senior vice president at GSK -- will be the new CEO of the joint venture.

According to the Journal, the companies expect that they will cut costs and create a broader business with more long-term growth potential by combining their products (Wall Street Journal, 4/16). Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler said in a statement, "With the strength of the companies' current products, as well as the complementary fit of Pfizer's pipeline and Glaxo's global distribution capabilities, the new company is well positioned to bring new and improved medicines to patients with more speed and efficiency."

According to UNAIDS data, an estimated 33 million people were living with HIV in 2008, of whom about four million were taking HIV/AIDS medications. In 2008, the market for branded HIV medications was worth about $13 billion (Bloomberg, 4/16).

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