ViiV Healthcare and MPP are actively negotiating on terms of a voluntary licensing agreement, which would help widen access to the company’s HIV prevention medicines


ViiV Healthcare teams up with MPP. (Credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay)

ViiV Healthcare, a specialist HIV company owned by GSK, is set to license its patents relating to cabotegravir long-acting (LA) for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to the UN-backed organisation Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

The company is currently in talks with MPP for signing and executing a voluntary licensing agreement that enhances access to cabotegravir in low- and middle-income countries.

With the voluntary licensing, people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries will get access to the company’s access to generic products, including dolutegravir.

The move follows an existing partnership with MPP, which supported the manufacture and sale of its low-cost medicines in countries most affected by HIV, said ViiV.

ViiV Healthcare CEO Deborah Waterhouse said: “We are excited by the potential role that this long-acting injectable medicine for HIV prevention can play in helping to avert the transmission of HIV and ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

“We are pleased that today we are making a significant contribution towards this aim by ensuring ViiV Healthcare patents will not stand in the way of enabling access for people in low- and middle-income countries who could benefit from cabotegravir LA for PrEP.

MPP executive director Charles Gore said: “Because of its long-acting nature, cabotegravir is potentially a very important drug in our battle against HIV. In particular, it could be a game-changer in prevention. It is critical that it becomes widely available to the people who could benefit from it.”

In a separate development, GSK said that China’s NMPA has approved a two-dose schedule for its HPV vaccine Cervarix for administration in girls aged nine to 14.

With the current approval, Cervarix becomes the first imported two-dose HPV vaccine for this age group in mainland China, said GSK.

The NMPA authorisation China follows the approval for the two-dose regimen in several countries, including the European Union, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

GSK developed Cervarix (Human Papillomavirus vaccine Types 16 and 18 [Recombinant, AS04 adjuvanted]), a non-infectious recombinant, adjuvanted vaccine.

The vaccine showed direct evidence of reducing cervical cancer incidence rates

In a register-based study conducted in England, girls who received the vaccine had experienced an 87% reduction in cervical cancer and a 97% reduction in precancerous lesions.

Also, Cervarix has shown 93·2% effectiveness against all CIN3+, regardless of HPV type in the lesion and including lesions with no HPV 16/18 DNA detected.