Hunt for AIDS cure accelerates as GSK and U.S. experts link up

A British Airways airplane flies past a signage for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKlein in LondonBy Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) – Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, which decided last week to retain rather than float off its HIV drugs business, is to collaborate with U.S. scientists in developing a cure for AIDS. The case of Timothy Brown, the so-called "Berlin patient" whose HIV was eradicated by a complex treatment for leukemia in 2007, marked the first cure and the science has been advancing since then. GSK is tapping into the latest expertise by creating an HIV Cure center with the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and establishing a new jointly owned company. Scientists will study various cure options, including a so-called "shock-and-kill" strategy developed at UNC, which unmasks dormant HIV hiding in white blood cells, so that it can be attacked by a boosted immune system.

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