Beijing, Nov. 23 (AFP): British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is set to become the first foreign company to localise the production of an AIDS drug in China, state media said today. The company plans to produce Combivir, used widely as the backbone drug in “cocktail treatments” of AIDS patients, at a plant in the north Chinese city of Tianjin, the China Daily reported.
GlaxoSmithKline has submitted applications to the state drug administration and it expects production to go ahead by the end of 2004. Offering hope to China’s AIDS sufferers, the company will try to make the price of the China-produced drug as low as possible, the report said.
Two Chinese drug companies have recently received approval to make cheap, local versions of patented foreign AIDS drugs.
Shanghai-based Desano Biopharmaceutical Co has got the authorities’ green light to produce DDI and D4T, both launched by US pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to previous reports.