LONDON, June 12 Johnson & Johnson has
linked up with ViiV Healthcare - a specialist HIV company
majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline - to develop a new
AIDS medicine combining two drugs in a single tablet.
The decision to study and commercialise a tablet containing
J&J's non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor Edurant, or
rilpivirine, and ViiV's integrase inhibitor Tivicay, or
dolutegravir, promises a simpler alternative to current
The idea is to use the two-drug combination tablet once a
patient's level of virus has been suppressed and stabilised.
Studies included in the new development programme are
expected to begin by the first quarter of 2015 and will
investigate the new combination as an HIV maintenance therapy
for patients already virally suppressed on a three-drug regimen.
The deal expands ViiV's portfolio of regimens based on
Tivicay, which is viewed by analysts as an important future
revenue driver for GSK.
Pfizer and Shionogi hold minority stakes in
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Sophie Walker)