Shasun Signs Licence With MPP to Produce Low-Cost HIV Medicines

GENEVA, MARCH 2013: The Medicines Patent Pool has signed a licence with Shasun Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences that will allow Shasun to produce the active ingredients of 5 key HIV medicines licensed to the MPP by Gilead Sciences for sale in the 100-112 countries where the majority of people living with HIV reside.

Shasun is an India-based active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer.

“Shasun is glad to transition from a bilateral agreement to the latest licence agreement negotiated by Medicines Patent Pool covering additional product licenses from Gilead. This enables Shasun to now be a part of providing affordable care at global quality standards in the anti-retrovirals space,” said Abhaya Kumar, the Managing Director of Shasun.

“Forming partnerships with generic manufacturers is central to the Medicines Patent Pool’s work. The MPP works with our sub-licensees to ensure that quality, effective HIV treatments reach as many people as possible. This new partnership with Shasun will help further the MPP’s mission of making new treatments for HIV more widely available, at affordable prices, in developing countries. We are excited to work with them,” said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

The medicines covered under this agreement are: tenofovir, cobicistat, elvitegravir, emtricitibine and a simplified “fixed-dose combination” – or a single pill comprising several medicines – of the four known as the Quad (brand name: Stribild).

Tenofovir is recommended by the World Health Organization as the main treatment for adults living with HIV. Cobicistat, elvitegravir and the Quad are new medicines – cobicistat and elvitegravir are still in clinical development, and the Quad received approval from drug regulatory authorities in the United States in August.

There are currently 8 million people worldwide receiving HIV treatment, and 7 million more who need treatment now but do not yet have access to it.

Shasun is the sixth generic manufacturer to take a licence from the Medicines Patent Pool. MPP’s other licensees – Aurobindo, Emcure, Hetero, and Laurus Labs – are already producing HIV medicines for use in developing countries.

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