Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) partnered to accelerate research on AIDS cure.

On Sunday, May 10, UNC and GSK announced the partnership and creation of a dedicated HIV Cure center, which will solely focus on finding a cure for AIDS/HIV. In a press release, the companies revealed that the partnership is expected to redefine the way in which research is done to tackle health issues globally.

The new center will be situated at the university's Chapel Hill campus. The partnership will also result in the creation of a new company called Qura Therapeutics, which will manage the business aspects for the research work such as intellectual property, governance, manufacturing and commercialization.

Chancellor Carol Folt of UNC Chapel hill revealed that the private-public partnership has great potential. Folt revealed that the university has been researching actively on AIDS for over three decades. The latest partnership is a step that will accelerate research in finding an effective cure for the disease. He says that the partnership is a major step for fighting AIDS/HIV in the entire world.

GSK has also made significant advancement in the battle against HIV/AIDS in the last few decades.

"From the development of the world's first breakthrough medicine for HIV patients in the 1980s, to our leadership in the market today through ViiV Healthcare, we're continuously challenging ourselves to meet the needs of patients," says Sir Andrew Witty, the CEO of GSK said. "We are inspired by the confidence that with the right resources and research teams, we will be able to make a meaningful impact towards a cure for HIV."

The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that almost 78 million people have been infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic. About 39 million people have died due to the HIV.

WHO suggests that by the end of 2013 about 35 million people were living with HIV. The scale of the epidemic largely varies from region to region. The sub-Saharan Africa remains the most affected region and about 1 in 20 adults living in the region is affected with HIV. WHO estimates that about 71 percent of individuals living with HIV are from sub-Saharan Africa.

A cure for HIV/AIDS can help save the lives of millions of people across the world.

Photo: Sham Hardy | Flickr

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