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GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, two of the largest drug companies in the world, announced today they will combine forces to create a new company dedicated to research and development of HIV treatments. The new company, which will be named later this year, will hold about one-fifth of the world market for treating HIV, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
"By combining Pfizer's and GlaxoSmithKline's complementary strengths and capabilities, we are creating a new global leader in HIV and reaffirming our ongoing commitment to the treatment of the disease," said Jeff Kindler, CEO of Pfizer. He pointed out that the two companies complement each other: Pfizer has many new drugs in development, while GSK has a ready distribution system. "The new company can reach more patients and accomplish much more for the treatment of HIV globally than either company on its own," Kindler added.
Recent studies in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet show that earlier treatment of HIV infection saves lives. The CDC estimates there are 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, and that one in five of those are unaware they have the disease.
The CDC recommends everyone between ages 13-64 routinely get an HIV test.
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