[Ip-health] Letter to Sherry Lansing Re: University of California Actions on Xtandi Patents in India

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Thu Aug 10 12:03:19 PDT 2017

On August 9, 2017, the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT),
Fundación de Pacientes Un Nuevo Renacer, and Corporación Innovarte sent a
letter to Sherry Lansing, the former Paramount CEO and current member of
the Board of Regents of the University of California, to urge her to stop
the Regents' efforts to obtain a patent on the prostate cancer drug
enzalutamide (brand name Xtandi) in India.

The full text of the letter follows below:


The Sherry Lansing Foundation
2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 2020
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 310-788-0057
Via Fax: 310.788.0631

Dear Sherry Lansing,

We are writing to you in your capacity as both a member of the State of
California Board of Regents and as someone who has an extensive record of
work on cancer research and cancer awareness. Specifically, we are
following up on a letter sent by dozens of health groups and academics on
May 24, 2017 to the Board of Regents, asking that the University of
California withdraw its efforts to obtain a patent on the prostate cancer
drug enzalutamide (brand name Xtandi) in India. We are attaching a copy of
the May 24th letter, which may or may not have been shared with the Board
of Regents, and will briefly summarize that request. The University of
California obtained a patent on enzalutamide and that patent is now
licensed (worldwide) to Astellas, a Japanese pharmaceutical company.
Astellas charges extremely high prices on this drug worldwide. The India
patent office has rejected the patent. If the decision in India stands,
several generic manufacturers will make enzalutamide available at much
lower prices, and in doing so will broaden access, particularly in
developing countries. We are in the process of trying to obtain affordable
versions of enzalutamide for cancer patients in Chile and in other
countries where access is limited. In July,  Willy Pino Cataldo, one of the
Chilean patients who was working on this effort who needed enzalutamide
died before access could be provided. In the case of Chile as well as in
other countries, having access to generic versions manufactured in India is
and will be very important.

We would like the Board of Regents to instruct the President to abandon the
legal appeal of the rejection of the enzalutamide patent in India. This is
an important cancer drug, invented at a public university in California
with funding from grants from the US Army and the NIH. The actions by the
University will determine if cancer patients in developing countries have
access to this medicine. We have yet to receive a response or even
acknowledgement of receipt of the May 24th letter from the office of
President of the University about this issue, and we think our request
merits a response. We are hoping that having spent much of your life
working to improve the lives of cancer patients, you will take note of our
concerns and bring this to the attention of the President and the Board of


Manon Anne Ress, PhD.
Acting Director
Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment
http://uact.org/  +1.202.332.2670
manon.ress at cancerunion.org

Kirsten Myhr
Board Member
Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment

Antonia Toledo
Fundación de Pacientes Un Nuevo Renacer
cancerdemamachile at gmail.com

Germán Inostroza Charnock
Corporación Innovarte
contacto at innovarte.cl

Cc:  Janet Napolitano, President of the University and ex officio Regent
Paul Monge, Student Regent

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