Gilead Sciences, the maker of HIV nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor Viread, has agreed to buy Triangle Pharmaceuticals, which has one HIV and two hepatitis treatments in development, for $464 million, the Raleigh [N.C.] News and Observer reports. Among Triangle's products in development is the anti-HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor Coviricil, which is expected to receive Food and Drug Administration approval in early 2003.
Mark Perry, Gilead's chief operating officer, says the companies plan to develop a combined, once-a-day tablet that includes both Viread and Coviricil. "Both products are very strong, once-a-day products that are very safe and effective individually," he said. "We think the combined product will be an outstanding product." The sale still must be approved by Gilead shareholders, but because the company's board controls 41% of Gilead's stock, approval is virtually guaranteed.