The HIV drug divisions of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are to be combinedinto a new and as yet unnamed London-based R&D company.
It will be 85% owned by GSK, 15% by Pfizer, focus on the development of HIV treatments, have a 19% share of the market and projected sales of £1.6 billion.
It will also inherit a portfolio of 11 products, including GSK’s Combivir and Pfizer’s Selzentry, and a pipeline of six drugs under development.
The collaboration is the latest in a series of pharmaceutical-sector mergers that have been prompted by the global recession and falling sales, coupled with the arrival of cheap generic competition as global patents expire.
US-based Pfizer recently announced the $68 billion (£45.6 billion) takeover of rival Wyeth, while Merck was acquired by Schering-Plough.
GSK says that while it does not envisage any similar mergers or takeovers, more Pfizer-style deals may be on the horizon.
Says boss Andrew Witty: “This marks a definitive step by GSK to renew our focus and deliver more medicines, more efficiently, to people living with HIV/Aids.”
Copyright Press Association 2009