Aspen strikes deal to cut cost of HIV drugs

By Loni Prinsloo

(Bloomberg) – Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. agreed to a partnership with India’s Laurus Labs Ltd. to boost supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients that will help reduce the cost of HIV drugs.

The Durban-based company plans to license intellectual property rights owned by Laurus, executive Stavros Nicolaou said by phone on Friday. The Indian company will gain a trading entity in South Africa as part of the deal, he said.

The move will put Aspen in a better position to bid for government contracts as the country plans to scale up treatment to 6 million people, Nicolaou said. The deal was first reported by Business Day newspaper.

The shares rose 1.3% in early trade in Johannesburg.

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