The Mississippi girl who was apparently cured of HIV in the first hours of her life was treated not with expensive new medication but with relatively old anti-retroviral drugs.
The National Institutes of Health statement (here) said that only 30 hours after she was born, doctors started using a liquid combination of three anti-HIV drugs: zidovudine, lamivudine, and nevirapine.
Taxpayer-funded NIH helped fund the post-event study of what happened.
Zidovudine and lamivudine were originally made by GlaxoSmithKline - or its predecessors and various scientists, with FDA approval coming in the 1980s and 1990s. Nevirapine was made by Boehringer Ingelheim and was approved in the 1990s. All the drugs have generic competitors.
GlaxoSmithKline has transfered those patents to the joint venture it started with Pfizer, Inc., called Viiv Healthcare, whose focus is treating people with HIV/AIDs.
GSK is based in London, but has several operations in the Philadelphia region. Pfizer is headquartered in New York, but also has Philadelphia operations. The joint venture was formed in 2009 and Shionogi, which is based in Osaka, joined ViiV Healthcare in 2012.
Glaxo has 76.5 percent of the joint venture, with Pfizer owning 13.5 percent and Shionogi holding 10 percent.
The brand-named tablet Combivir is a combination of lamivudine and zidovudine.
The official label, which is here, does allow for the treatment of young children, though few would have imagined them being only 30 hours old:
"If a child is unable to reliably swallow a Combivir tablet, the liquid oral formulations should be prescribed: Epivir (lamivudine) Oral Solution and Retrovir (zidovudine) Syrup."