UNC Launches HIV Cure Center

A science-led global healthcare company is joining forces with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to search for a cure for HIV/AIDS.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC, a majority British company, that researches and develops medicines, vaccines and consumer health products, is launching a joint research center at UNC. This public-private partnership is an effort to bring about a cure for the virus that causes AIDS.

“The excitement of this public-private partnership lies in its vast potential,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Carolina has been at the forefront of 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.”

Glaxo and UNC have agreed to jointly own and manage intellectual properties and other business matters for the new company — Qura Therapeutics LLC. Glaxo intends to invest $20 million over five years into the UNC project.

“Although today’s treatment for HIV mean that millions of lives have been saved, people still have to take a lifetime of treatments, which takes an emotional toll and places an economic burden on society that is particularly challenging in countries with limited resources,” said Zhi Hong, senior vice president and head of the GSK Infectious Diseases Therapy Unit.

GSK also announced on Monday its HIV Discovery Performance Unit, ViiV Healthcare, heralded for its success in antiretroviral therapies (ARV), will play an advisory role at the UNC HIV Cure Center.

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