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A deal by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to create a new company to develop and sell HIV drugs is to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The competition watchdog will decide whether the joint venture will reduce competition, and whether the Competition Commission should block or put limits on it.
Glaxo has said that the arrangement will combine its own portfolio of HIV treatments – some of which will soon be out of patent protection – with Pfizer’s more robust development pipeline.
Their combined total of 11 HIV drugs will give the venture a 19% share of the market and place it second behind Gilled Sciences. Other competitors include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories, Merck and Dumont Pharmaceuticals.
The OFT said interested parties have until 9 June to submit evidence for the first stage of consultations. Glaxo shares fell 0.23% to £10.62 following the announcement.
Copyright Press Association 2009