[Ip-health] Reuters: AbbVie adds children's AIDS drugs to shared patent pool

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun Nov 30 22:18:15 PST 2014


LONDON Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:12pm EST

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker AbbVie has added two HIV medicines for children
to a shared patent
<http://www.reuters.com/subjects/top-100-global-innovators?lc=int_mb_1001> pool
in an initiative that should speed the development of cheap new pediatric
formulations for use in poor countries.

It is the latest win for the non-profit Medicines Patent
<http://www.reuters.com/subjects/top-100-global-innovators?lc=int_mb_1001> Pool
(MPP), which aims to persuade leading drug companies to share rights to
their products with generic manufacturers in India
<http://in.reuters.com/?lc=int_mb_1001> and elsewhere.

Until now, AbbVie has not participated in the scheme, although the MPP has
signed HIV drug agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences
Roche and ViiV Healthcare, which is majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline

Despite major advances in treating HIV/AIDS, only a quarter of the 3.2
million children with the virus - 90 percent of whom live in sub-Saharan
Africa - currently receive drugs.

One major obstacle is the fact that existing syrup-based formulations need
refrigeration, making them unsuitable for much of Africa, and their
unpleasant taste is an added problem.

The licensing agreement for AbbVie's lopinavir and ritonavir drugs, both of
which are specifically recommended for children, gives a green light to
other players to develop improved treatment options.

The license also allows for the development of fixed-dose combinations
using different drugs already covered by MPP deals with other companies.

The MPP-AbbVie agreement covers 102 countries and also permits distribution
in areas where AbbVie does not hold patents, such as in India
<http://in.reuters.com/?lc=int_mb_1001> where the company has withdrawn its
patent applications for lopinavir and ritonavir.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler
editing by David Evans)

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