michaeljung /
18 July 2014Europe

MPP signs licences to increase access to HIV drugs

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has announced seven new sub-licensing agreements to make generic HIV medicines atazanavir (ATV) and dolutegravir (DTG).

It has signed manufacturing agreements with Chinese generic pharmaceutical company Desano, as well as Cipla, Mylan and Micro Labs, and extended its collaborations with Aurobindo, Laurus Labs and Emcure.

The United Nations-backed MPP negotiates patent licences to speed up access to generic versions of much-needed HIV treatments in developing countries. So far, ten generic drug makers have licensed from the organisation.

Established in 2010, it has signed agreements with Bristol Myers-Squibb, Gilead, Roche, the US National Institutes of Health and ViiV Healthcare for eight antiretroviral drugs and one medicine for an HIV opportunistic infection, or an infection that takes advantage of the HIV sufferer’s weakened immune system.

“With licences signed today, four new manufacturers are joining us to speed the availability of crucial medicines, ATV and DTG, to developing countries. This almost doubles our network of generic partners to ten companies,” said MPP’s executive director Greg Perry.

“Increased generic competition will ultimately bring prices down and increase availability to allow national treatment programmes to treat many more people in their countries.”

Jinliang Li, vice president of Desano, said: “Desano is honoured to be the first Chinese enterprise co-operating with MPP to manufacture high quality and affordable HIV medicines.”

“We are ready to contribute additional efforts from China to the global fight against AIDS.”

In a statement, the MPP said that increasing access to second-line treatments for HIV is crucial as people living with the disease are becoming resistant to first-line therapies.

“The WHO estimates there will be more than one million people on second-line treatment by 2016 and many more will need access to these new medicines,” it said.

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