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Gilead Sciences to Promote Low-Cost HIV Medicine in Developing World

By Chelsea Stevenson Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) said it plans to partner with Mylan Inc. (MYL), Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (500359.BY) and Strides Arcolab Ltd. (532531.BY) to promote access to high-quality, low-cost generic versions of Gilead's HIV medicine emtricitabine in developing countries. The medicine includes single tablet regimens and fixed-dose combinations of emtricitabine co-formulated with other Gilead HIV medicines. Under the new agreement, Gilead will provide a technology transfer for the manufacture of emtricitabine as well as funding to reduce overall manufacturing costs. Emtricitabine is marked by Gilead under the name Emtriva and the fixed-dose is available under the name Truvada. But costs are an obstacle for high-volume production. More than 2.7 million patients living with HIV in developing countries are currently receiving a medicine innovated by Gilead and subsequently licensed to Indian generic partners, as part of the company's efforts to increase global access. Strides Arcolab Managing Director Arun Kumar said the partnership will also re-enforce commitments to provide affordable drugs in the tuberculosis and malaria fields. Gilead's second-quarter earnings slid last week as the company posted a double-digit increase in costs, which offset its strong revenue growth. Earlier this year, the company bought Pharmasset Inc. for more than $11 billion, expecting the company to help accelerate the development of treatments for hepatitis C. Write to Chelsea Stevenson at Subscribe to WSJ:

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