LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company majority owned by GSK, with Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi Limited as shareholders, today announced the creation of the Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The £3 million fund will make available critical financial resources for research projects to study the medical and scientific impact COVID-19 is having on people living with HIV and community-based grants to help address specific challenges to the HIV community created by the global pandemic.
Deborah Waterhouse, CEO at ViiV Healthcare, said: “Our mission is to leave no person living with HIV behind and in these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever that we use our resources and expertise to do just that. To contribute to finding solutions, ViiV Healthcare is proud to announce the Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Through this fund, we can support research about the impact of COVID-19 on people living with HIV that is urgently needed. We will also be able to provide support to local community organisations who are grounded in the response to the pandemic and those who have been impacted by COVID-19 to allow them to continue the important work they are doing to support the HIV community. We know their support of the broader health system will help save lives.”
The ViiV Healthcare Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will be divided equally between two programmes and grants will be available through a request for proposal (RFP) process. The Research Emergency Response Fund will make available up to £1.5 million to support scientific research about the impact of COVID-19 on people living with HIV. The Community Emergency Response Fund will make available up to £1.5 million to support community-based activities that address the specific challenges faced by people living with HIV during this pandemic.
Harmony Garges, Chief Medical Officer at ViiV Healthcare, said: “Because COVID-19 is caused by a novel virus, we don’t have scientific data to answer some of the important questions that are being raised by people living with HIV and their physicians. Does HIV put a person at greater risk of getting COVID-19? Are PLHIV more at risk of severe infection? Is the pandemic preventing people with HIV from seeing their healthcare providers and getting the treatment and care they need? The HIV community at large has asked us for help to immediately start studying these issues and the Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has been created to support their efforts.”
About the support programmes
Research Emergency Response Fund
To help improve the understanding and management of the COVID-19 pandemic in people living with HIV, ViiV Healthcare is inviting research proposals within three priority areas of interest that include epidemiology and real-world data, healthcare systems management initiatives in COVID-19 environments, and biomarkers indicative of disease susceptibility, severity, and progression.
Successful proposals will be awarded grants from the £1.5 million Research Emergency Response Fund to undertake independent research through ViiV Healthcare’s existing Investigator Sponsored Studies (ISS) programme. Interested applicants may visit covid-19rfp.viivhealthcare.com for proposal materials as well as additional information on eligibility criteria and how to apply. Requests for proposals will be open from 27 April through 18 May. The proposals will be reviewed by an internal ViiV Healthcare scientific panel and successful applicants notified by 5 June.
Community Emergency Response Fund
ViiV Healthcare will seek applications from community organisations to support their work in addressing the specific challenges that have arisen for people living with HIV or affected by HIV as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the £1.5 million Community Emergency Response Fund, grants will be made available to support ongoing access to critical HIV prevention, care and outreach services, differentiated models of service delivery, short term payments for critical community staff, and community monitoring and feedback on the impact of COVID-19 to HIV services and support. The Community Emergency Response Fund is not intended for the purchase of pharmaceutical products.
The Community Emergency Response Fund will support existing grantees of ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action or Government Affairs (GA) or Global Public Health (GPH). Click on the links below to find out more about proposed materials as well as additional information on eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Requests for proposals will be open from 27 April through 15 May. The proposals will be reviewed by an internal ViiV Healthcare panel and successful applicants notified by 25 May.
Our actions to support the broader global response
We are also proud of everything our majority shareholder, GSK, is doing to contribute to solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the research and production of candidate COVID-19 vaccines and the ground-breaking collaboration recently announced between GSK and Sanofi, bringing together two of the world’s largest vaccine companies to fight COVID-19. Along with GSK, we are also involved in a number of partnerships and initiatives to respond to COVID-19 and are working together to conduct screening and research into new medicines as well as helping frontline health workers and offering expertise where we can.
For more information about ViiV Healthcare’s HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, please visit our website.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.
For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2019 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.