What Glaxo's strategy guru thinks the future holds for HIV markets
- David Redfern, GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) chief strategy officer and chairman of Viiv Healthcare, its HIV/AIDS unit, said that eventually the only improvement left to make in treating HIV will be finding a permanent cure, according to report from Bloomberg.
- GSK is retaining its commitment to HIV R&D, and has built Viiv into a success story, with revenues of about $2.5 billion in 2014.
- GSK looks at Gilead as its primary rival in the HIV therapeutics business, although there are also a several other large players, including AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
Viiv's success is built on its innovative approach and its commitment ot R&D. Viiv, which is co-owned by Pfizer and Shionogi, has seen particular success with the integrase inhibitor, Ticavay, a new entrant into the market, which had $467 million worth of sales in 2014. In addition, its three-in-one medication, Triumeq, has also been a boon for the company. However, with all of its success, Viiv's revenues are still just a fraction of Gilead's $10,3 billion worth of HIV-related sales.
For Redfern, the goal is to continue driving drug development that simplifies dosing and improves outcomes, while accepting that eventually the needs around HIV will be fully addressed. The next step, according to Redfern, will be to take the expertise of Viiv and invest it in a completely new therapeutic area, while hoping that HIV will one day become a curable disease—and no longer a chronic virus.