ViiV Healthcare announces a voluntary licence agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to HIV medicines for children

Agreement brings the number of voluntary licences granted by ViiV Healthcare to 14.

Issued: London, UK

- Agreement brings the number of voluntary licences granted by ViiV Healthcare to 14

ViiV Healthcare today announced a collaboration with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), the UN-backed public health mechanism created in July 2010 with the goal of increasing access to HIV medicines. Through this collaboration, ViiV Healthcare will grant MPP a voluntary licence for paediatric formulations of the antiretroviral medicine abacavir in the 118 countries where most (98.7%) children living with HIV live. Abacavir is currently recommended as a preferred nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) for first-line therapy in infants and children in the WHO guidelines.

ViiV Healthcare already has thirteen voluntary licence agreements with generics companies, all of which facilitate the manufacture and sale of low-cost versions of ViiV Healthcare medicines in those countries most affected by HIV and least able to pay for treatment and care. In 2011, ViiV Healthcare and its licensees supplied an estimated 717 million antiretroviral tablets. This is the equivalent of approximately 12 months’ supply for over a million people living with HIV.

Around 3.4 million children are living with HIV worldwide but 72% of those needing treatment do not have access to appropriate care and medicines. Among several barriers preventing further scale-up of the numbers of children on treatment is the lack of low-cost medicines that are palatable and acceptable for use by children.  

In July 2010, ViiV Healthcare announced that it would make its pipeline available through royalty-free voluntary licensing and not-for-profit initiatives in all least developed countries, all low income countries and all of sub-Saharan Africa. In keeping with this commitment, pipeline products for paediatric HIV treatment would be eligible to be licensed to MPP for the same 118 countries as the abacavir voluntary licence agreement announced today, once approved by regulatory agencies.

Dr Dominique Limet, CEO, ViiV Healthcare commented: “At ViiV Healthcare we have committed to playing our part to address the gaps in care and treatment of paediatric HIV. This agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool builds on the existing 13 licences granted to our generics partners and the broad range of initiatives supported through our Paediatric Innovation Seed Fund which aim to improve paediatric HIV research, care and treatment in resource-limited settings.  The overarching goal of our efforts is to improve the lives of children living with HIV, and to help make ViiV Healthcare’s medicines available to them.”

This agreement with MPP follows ViiV Healthcare’s collaboration with CHAI and Mylan Laboratories Limited to develop a taste-masked dispersible abacavir/lamivudine formulation for paediatric use in resource-limited settings, announced as part of the company’s Paediatric Innovation Seed Fund programme in July 2012.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. Following this, GSK now holds a 76.5% stake and Pfizer holds a 13.5% stake in ViiV Healthcare. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit

ViiV UK/US Media enquiries:

Camilla Bull

+44 (0) 20 8380 6226


Marc Meachem

+1 919 483 8756

GSK Global Media enquiries:

David Daley

+44 (0) 20 8047 5502


Catherine Hartley

+44 (0) 20 8047 5502



GSK Analyst/Investor enquiries:

Sally Ferguson

+44 (0) 20 8047 5543


Lucy Budd

+44 (0) 20 8047 2248


Tom Curry

+ 1 215 751 5419


Gary Davies

+ 44 (0) 20 8047 5503


James Dodwell

+ 44 (0) 20 8047 2406


Jeff McLaughlin

+ 1 215 751 7002


Ziba Shamsi

+ 44 (0) 20 8047 3289