WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) applauds the licensing agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV Healthcare to increase access to dolutegravir (DTG), a promising new antiretroviral (ARV) medication. This agreement will allow generic manufacturers to scale up production of low-cost versions of DTG for countries with the highest HIV burden. It will also ensure adults and children worldwide can access the most advanced HIV treatment regimens available.
"This is great news for pediatric HIV patients. We must not only scale up pediatric treatment, but also demand high-quality drugs tailored specifically for the unique needs of children," said Charles Lyons, EGPAF president and CEO. "We congratulate MPP and ViiV on these new license agreements and their visible commitment to making affordable and effective HIV drugs available to those who need them the most."
This new agreement allows generic manufacturers based anywhere in the world to combine DTG with other HIV drugs to create new fixed dose combinations (FDC), including FDCs for children. It also expands to future pediatric formulations that are currently in development at ViiV.
New pediatric formulations that include DTG will expand treatment options for children living with HIV. Currently of the millions children living with HIV in resource-limited settings, only 34 percent of children eligible for treatment have access to lifesaving ARV medications. Without treatment, 50 percent of all children living with HIV will die before age 2 and 80 percent will die before their fifth birthday.
DTG is considered a significant advancement in HIV treatment. Treatment regimens that include DTG can be less complicated than other HIV therapies recommended for children and have a good efficacy and tolerability profile at very small doses. Moreover, the medicine can be used in combination with other drugs for patients that have never taken ARVs as well as for the many that have developed resistance to their current regimens.
"By narrowing the gap between access to breakthrough new ARVs in developed versus developing countries, the ViiV-MPP agreement represents a significant public health achievement," said Greg Perry, Medicines Patent Pool executive director. "Dolutegravir is an innovative HIV therapy, and we will be working closely with generic manufacturers over the next few years to make it available to those most in need as quickly as possible."
Every day, more than 700 babies are newly infected with HIV, almost all of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. EGPAF and its affiliates have provided critical HIV care and treatment to more than 2 million individuals, including 160,000 children and enrolled more than 95,000 children on antiretroviral therapy.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, and has reached more than 18 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently supports more than 7,300 health facilities and works in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.
SOURCE Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation