[Ip-health] Hearings on Sofosbuvir pre-grant oppositions set to commence at the Delhi Patent Office

rameshwari rao rameshwarirao at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 11:03:01 PST 2016

*Patient groups get closer to knocking off market monopoly on Sofosbuvir*

*Hearings on Sofosbuvir pre-grant oppositions set to commence at the Delhi
Patent Office*

23 February 2016, New Delhi: The Delhi Patent office will hear the
pre-grant opposition filed against Sofosbuvir base compound
(6087/DELNP/2005) by Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO
working with drug users.  The opposition was filed in Sankalp
Rehabilitation Trust in January 2015 and  the matter will be heard along
with two other pre-grant oppositions filed by two generic companies in

Mr. Anand Grover, Senior Counsel and Director of Lawyers Collective will
appear on behalf of Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust.

Sofosbuvir is now widely considered the backbone of Hepatitis C treatment
globally. Studies show that taken in combination with another direct-acting
antiviral Daclatasvir, Sofosbuvir can cure upto 98% of people living with
HCV. At a time when around millions of people across the world and around
8.7 million in India alone are affected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV),
timely and affordable access to Sofosbuvir could save millions of lives.

Gilead, the US-based multinational pharmaceutical company has, however,
sought to limit access to this highly effective treatment by seeking
multiple patents on Sofosbuvir, one of which is the opposition under
hearing. At the same time, Gilead has signed voluntary licenses (VL) with
Indian generic companies which allow them to supply generic Sofosbuvir to a
limited number of relatively low burden low-and-middle-income countries at
lower prices. Many health activists and patient groups see this as an
attempt to control Indian generic companies which have consistently
thwarted multinational pharmaceutical companies’ to keep them out of the
market. If successful, the current opposition would open the market to
competition that could further reduce the price of Sofosbuvir and allow
generic companies in India to also supply to high burden HCV countries.

Lawyers Collective will circulate a detailed note on the arguments made by
both sides after the hearing.

To request a copy of the opposition, please check this link:


Legal Officer,
*Lawyer's Collective.*

*Contact No**. : *+91 9873960781

*"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man
as it is, Infinite". -William Blake.  *

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