NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2014, the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum (Forum)* is pleased to announce that it is joining in the "Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action," initiated today by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI)**, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to accelerate the development of new, high-priority pediatric ARV co-formulations for first- and second-line treatment by 2017.
Commenting on the Forum's endorsement of the Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, said: "We are encouraged by the enthusiastic participation of the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum and look forward to collaborating with them and other stakeholders to accelerate the development of the new medicines that children living with HIV so desperately need."
Dr. Ted Bianco, Director of Innovations at the Wellcome Trust, which facilitated the dialogue among the companies and other stakeholders, said: "It is marvelous to see the coming together of the companies to be part of this multi-stakeholder effort to provide the benefit of their collective experience and expertise in HIV drug discovery and development to help address unmet medical needs in the treatment of children living with HIV."
The HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum embraces the importance of developing new pediatric ARV formulations and accelerating access to these important medicines for children in need. The Forum's endorsement of this Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action signals intensified commitment to this goal, both through individual company initiatives and participation in the PHTI, which will pool knowledge, talent, and resources to overcome the scientific and practical challenges to bring new formulations and combinations as soon as possible to the children who need them. The Forum will participate in the stakeholder advisory group of the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative and Forum member companies will participate in the technical working groups of the PHTI to help develop the formulations most urgently needed for pediatric use. (Most of the Forum companies have already concluded pediatric licensing agreements with the MPP and others are in discussions with the MPP.)
The Forum's member companies also welcome the efforts that PEPFAR, the PHTI and the Global Fund will be making to help ensure rapid and harmonized regulatory approval and rapid uptake by national HIV/AIDS program of new pediatric HIV/AIDS medicines. The Forum will also work together with PEPFAR, PHTI, and the Global Fund, along with other participating originator and generic pharmaceutical companies, to develop an Operational Framework for the Global Pediatric Antiretroviral Commitment-to-Action by March 31, 2015.
* The HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum is a group of research-based pharmaceutical companies – including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Janssen, Merck & Co., Inc. (known as MSD outside of North America) and ViiV Healthcare – that have come together to support this new Commitment-to-Action. The Forum's goal is to facilitate the collaborative engagement of the innovative pharmaceutical companies with other stakeholders in exploring R&D solutions to address unmet HIV treatment needs in resource-limited settings, with a priority on unmet needs in pediatric HIV treatments. The Forum is facilitated by the Wellcome Trust.
** The Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative is a collaboration of UNITAID, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).
SOURCE HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum