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British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has decided to retain its interest in global specialist HIV firm, ViiV Healthcare.

ViiV Healthcare is an independent pharmaceutical firm that develops therapies for HIV. It was created as a joint venture by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline in 2009.

GSK noted that its decision to retain interest in ViiV Healthcare reflected its updated strong positive outlook.

GSK chief executive officer Sir Andrew Witty said: "With the completion of the Novartis transaction, we have reviewed future prospects for the newly shaped Group, including the opportunities offered through the integration and our cash allocation strategy.

"With the completion of the Novartis transaction, we have reviewed future prospects for the newly shaped Group.

"We have done so recognising that our operating environment is shifting radically, particularly in relation to pricing, and that we must be prepared for specific uncertainties, including the possible introduction of generic Advair in the US and the potential exercise of options from partners in ViiV Healthcare and our Consumer Healthcare Business."

The drugmaker also intends to pay annual ordinary dividend of 80p for each of the next three years, from 2015-2017.

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The company has started restructuring of its global pharmaceuticals business with around £1bn of annual cost savings to be delivered by 2017, with approximately 50% of savings expected in 2016

In a separate development, GSK, along with Fondazione Telethon and Ospedale San Raffaele, has submitted a marketing application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a gene therapy, GSK2696273.

The gene therapy is being developed to treat patients with a rare disease, adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (ADA-SCID), for whom no suitable human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related stem cell donor is available.

Image: GlaxoSmithKline headquarters in Brentford, London, England. Photo: courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton.