26 SEPTEMBER 2012: The Medicines Patent Pool has signed a licence agreement with Laurus Labs, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for the treatment of HIV.
The agreement will allow Laurus to produce five key HIV medicines for sale in 100 – 112 countries (covering between 82.7 and 87.6 per cent of people living with HIV), depending on the medicine.
“Laurus Labs is an innovation-driven organization and playing a critical role in Anti-retroviral products to help improve quality of life of people living with HIV. Thus we are extremely pleased to be working with the Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Sciences to better meet both the need for innovation and the need for access to the products of that innovation,” said Dr. Satyanarayana Chava, CEO of Laurus.
“We are excited to have Laurus on board at the Medicines Patent Pool. The manufacture of quality, affordable active pharmaceutical ingredients is essential to realising the Pool’s mission to expanding access to HIV treatment in developing countries,” said Chan Park, Interim Executive Director at the Patent Pool.
Laurus is the fifth generic manufacturer to sign up to produce HIV medicines licensed to the Pool by Gilead Sciences in July 2011. These medicines include: tenofovir, emtricitabine, cobicistat, elvitegravir and a combination of the four known as “the Quad.”
The four-medicines-in-one Quad received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration on 27 August 2012. Medicines Patent Pool licensees, now free to develop the Quad, will likely help speed the availability of the medicine in developing countries. New medicines in development are often delayed several years from the time they are approved in developed countries to the time they are made available in developing countries.
Previous sub-licensees – including Hetero Labs, Aurobindo Pharma Limited, and Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited – are already producing and selling medicines made under Patent Pool licences.