Andrew Witty, GlaxiSmithKlein (GSK) CEO announced that the pharmaceutical company is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a widely acclaimed effort to find a cure for Human Immuno-deficiency system (HIV) / Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The partnership is set to take off with the establishment of an HIV Cure Center at the University of North Carolina, followed by the set up of a jointly owned research company, Qura Therapeutics. The Marsico Hall of the University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill will be home to both the HIV Cure Center and Qura Therapeutics.
The partnership aims at bringing together academic headspears and pharmaceutical research scientist in an effort to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. While the announcement gave no details of a CEO running the research company, it has been stated that two board members will take the helms. One will pertain to the UNC team, while the other will come from the pharmaceutical giant, GSK. GSK has so far pledged a total sum ammounting to 20 million dollars over five years. UNC is covering the laboratory space necessary for sound research to be conducted.
It is expected that the partnership will bring to light a breakthrough approach on the matter, enhacing global health as a result. With a disease that has for so many years plagued the global community, everyone raised their hopes when a new „shock and kill” strategy was announced as the paramount of the future research.
Chancellor Carol L. Folt of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eagerly stated that:
“The excitement of this public-private partnership lies in its vast potential. Carolina has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research for the last 30 years. This first of its kind, joint-ownership model is a novel approach toward finding a cure, and we hope it serves as an invitation to the world’s best researchers and scientists.”
What GSK and UNC planned is to draw on previous research concerning a molecule titled JP-III-48 which opens up the HIV virus to attacks from the immune system. The therapy is called „shock and kill” with regards to the unveiling of this molecule only to be swiped by the boosted immune system.
Reports from the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, as well as from the UNC on Chapel Hill have previously mentioned this possibility as a treatment approach. Now, the GSK-UNC private-public partnership aims at moving forward and advancing medical science in what is perceived to be a matter of great urgency.
Image Source: The Herald Sun