ViiV Healthcare will offer cheap versions of its HIV drug Tivicay in China and other developing countries through a new partnership with Desano Pharmaceuticals.

Under the agreement, Shanghai-based manufacturing firm Desano will produce the active ingredient in Tivicay, dolutegravir, to feed into ViiV’s supply chain for onward sale in China.

The drug is currently being evaluated for approval by the China Food and Drug Administration. Desano’s cut-price version may be also supplied to other developing countries subject to national approval.

The companies say that they are also exploring further options for future manufacture of fixed dose combinations of dolutegravir with other drugs.

“Desano is honored to cooperate with ViiV Healthcare to manufacture a high quality, competitive supply of dolutegravir and its combinations,” says Ying Kan, president of Desano. “We believe that working together with ViiV Healthcare we can better contribute to the global goal of making treatment options available to patients across the globe.”

ViiV is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, whose reputation in China was shaken in 2014 following a bribery scandal that resulted in the company being fined £297 million by the Chinese government.