Firms will share the revenues and costs associated with registration and distribution.

Gilead Sciences and Merck & Co. have agreed to distribute HIV therapy Atripla® in 12 countries located primarily in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Atripla is a combination of two Gilead drugs and one Merck treatment.

The companies will share costs associated with registering and distributing the product as well as resulting revenues. Gilead will assume the lead role in the registration, manufacturing, and distribution in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Uruguay. Going forward, additional countries may be added to this new agreement by mutual consent.

With this agreement, 138 countries are now covered under collaborations between Gilead and Merck or Bristol-Myers Squibb. In August 2006, Gilead and Merck inked a deal according to which Merck distributes Atripla at a substantial discount in 94 developing nations. Atripla is commercialized in the U.S., Canada, and Europe through a partnership between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead.

Atripla is a once-daily single tablet composed of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Efavirenz is marketed by Merck under the tradename Stocrin® in some territories outside the U.S., Canada, and certain European countries. Emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate are commercialized by Gilead Sciences under the tradenames Emtriva® and Viread®, respectively, and together as the fixed-dose combination Truvada®.

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