HIV drug research results promising: Mississauga firm

A Mississauga-based drug research venture owned by two of the world’s biggest drugmakers says it has promising results from early tests on a new HIV drug.

ViiV Healthcare, set up in 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer Inc., says it feels positive from results of a Phase III study — known as Viking-3 — on a new drug called dolutegravir to treat HIV-infected adults resistant to other treatments.

“We are encouraged by these results and look forward to receiving further phase II data in treatment-experienced patients in the coming months,” the company said in a statement.

Dolutegravir is an experimental new drug being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. It’s an inhibitor which has proved effective in HIV patients with resistance to other drugs and is being tested in combination with other drugs called abacavir and lamivudine.

“Viking-3 was designed to address a significant medical need in one of the most difficult populations to treat – those patients who have advanced disease and have developed resistance to integrase inhibitors as well as multiple other antiretroviral agents,” said John Pottage, chief scientific and medical officer for ViiV Healthcare.

The new drug was tested for 24 weeks on 183 HIV infected adults who had been on treatments for at least 13 years.

GlaxoSmithKline has its Canadian headquarters on Mississauga Rd. and Pfizer Canada operates it consumer research division in the city. Both companies are part of the life sciences cluster in Mississauga, one of the city’s key economic growth areas.

The results of the data were recently presented at the 11th International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV prevention in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this week.

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