The Swedish biotechnology company Medivir announced yesterday that it has licensed its experimental non-nucleoside// reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), code-named MIV-160, to the Chinese company Guangdong Lantai Viewland Pharmaceutical for the China region. Medivir will retain the worldwide rights to the product.
Guangdong Lantai Viewland Pharmaceutical will potentially develop MIV-160 for three different products; an oral treatment regime, a vaginal microbicide and coating of condoms. It is the first antiretroviral product to be investigated as an additive agent to condom lubrication.
Professor Bo Oberg, head of the HIV franchise at Medivir, told aidsmap: 'This should enhance the safety of condoms and will at least save a few infections.'
MIV-160 is also an attractive microbicide product, he said, because it can inhibit HIV at very low concentrations – several thousand times lower than products currently being investigated in phase III trials in Africa. A second Medivir NNRTI – MIV-150 – is being investigated in combination with the microbicide Carraguard in a phase I study.
Medivir says that MIV-160, still in pre-clinical development, has shown good activity against NNRTI-resistant virus.
It is the first time that a Chinese company has won the global rights to develop an HIV product. Prof. Oberg said that Medivir will retain the right to commercialise or license any developments that result from the partnership for the rest of the world.
Medivir is also involved in two other development partnerships, with Tibotec for an HIV protease inhibitor and a nucleoside analogue, and with Bristol Myers Squibb for the NNRTI MIV-170.
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