[Ip-health] Medicines Patent Pool and Bristol-Myers Squibb Sign Agreement to Further Expand Access to a Key HIV Medicine

Kaitlin Mara kmara at medicinespatentpool.org
Thu Dec 12 02:04:18 PST 2013

Dear friends:

Please see our latest news below, or read it on our website here:

12 DECEMBER 2013, GENEVA: The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and
biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb have signed a licensing
agreement to increase access to a key HIV medicine,atazanavir, in 110
developing countries. These countries represent 88.5 percent of people
living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

³This agreement will allow manufacturers world-wide to produce more
affordable versions of atazanavir, and to combine atazanavir with other
medicines to make treatment easier and more accessible in developing
countries. Together with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we will be expanding access
to an important HIV medicine,² said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the
Medicines Patent Pool.

This is the MPP¹s first agreement covering a World Health Organization
(WHO)-preferred second-line therapy. The WHO estimates there will be over
1 million people on second-line treatment by 2016, and many more will need
access to these therapies.

³Second-line treatment is increasingly important as people living with HIV
around the world develop resistance to their current regimens,² said
Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO. ³I welcome this move to help ensure
urgently needed medicines are more widely available at affordable prices.²

The MPP has focused its negotiations on WHO recommended medicines to
ensure more affordable access to HIV treatment in places where it is
critically needed. Previous agreements with Gilead Sciences and ViiV
Healthcare [a joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Shionogi] have
expanded access to WHO-preferred first-line treatments for adults and

Under the terms of the agreement, a technology transfer package will be
provided to sub-licensees to facilitate the manufacture of atazanavir.
While royalties are not applicable in the vast majority of the countries
and are waived for all paediatric products, any royalties that are
collected under this licence agreement will be reinvested in local
HIV/AIDS groups in those countries.

³Bristol-Myers Squibb has a legacy of working collaboratively with the
HIV/AIDS community to help meet the diverse needs of patients living with
this disease - from developing innovative medicines to supporting disease
education efforts to ongoing clinical research,² said Dr. Douglas Manion,
Senior Vice President, Development, Virology and Japan, Bristol-Myers
Squibb. ³Our collaboration with MPP builds on this legacy and reflects our
commitment to help increase access to atazanavir for HIV patients in the
developing world.²


Global Impact of HIV
UNAIDS estimates that there are 35.3 million people living with HIV, and
that 28.6 million people are now eligible for antiretroviral therapy. As a
result of recent advances in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART),
HIV-positive people now live longer and healthier lives. At the end of
2012, close to 10 million people were receiving ART in low- and
middle-income countries. However, almost 19 million other people who are
eligible for ART under the WHO 2013 guidelines did not have access to
antiretroviral drugs.

Second-line treatments are needed for people living with HIV where
first-line antiretrovirals are no longer effective. There will be over 1
million people on second-line HIV treatment by 2016, and many more will
need access to second-line medicines. According to 2013 WHO treatment
guidelines, boosted atazanavir is a preferred PI (protease inhibitor)
option for a second line anti-retroviral therapy and can be taken

About the Medicines Patent Pool
The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations backed organisation offering
a public-health driven business model that aims to lower the prices of HIV
medicines and facilitate the development of better-adapted HIV medicines,
such as simplified ³fixed-dose combinations² and special formulations for
children. It was founded in 2010 at the request of the international
community through the World Health
Organization-based financing mechanism UNITAID. It works by creating a
pool of relevant patents for licensing to generic manufacturers and other
producers, facilitating the generic competition that brings down prices
and can help stimulate innovation. The Medicines Patent Pool has been
endorsed by the World Health Organization, the UN High Level Meeting on
AIDS, and the Group of 8 as a promising innovative approach to improve
access to HIV medicines.

As with all MPP licences, the full text of this agreement is available on
the MPP website at 

Kaitlin Mara | Communications Manager | Medicines Patent Pool
Advancing innovation, access, and public health
direct: +41 22 533 5054 | mobile: +41 79 825 4786 |
kmara at medicinespatentpool.org

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