GENEVA, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Lupin, Strides, HEC Group, Huahai Bring Total Number of MPP Sub-licensees to Fourteen Companies
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced the rapid expansion of its network of generic manufacturers to 14 companies now working on more than 50 projects to develop MPP-licensed antiretrovirals (ARVs). New companies Lupin and Strides Arcolab recently signed agreements to produce dolutegravir (DTG), a promising new HIV medicine the MPP licensed from ViiV Healthcare two months after its approval in Europe. The agreements follow MPP's June 9 announcement of sub-licences with Chinese firms, HEC Group and Huahai Pharmaceutical, for the generic production of Gilead Sciences' medicines.
"Over the past year, we have doubled the number of generic companies working with us to develop medicines for low- and middle-income countries," said Greg Perry, MPP's Executive Director. "Increasing the supplier base for new and WHO-recommended HIV therapy is key to meeting international goals for treatment scale-up and will increase competition and drive down prices over the long run."
"DTG is a new class of HIV drugs with important implications for improving care for people living with HIV worldwide," said Mr. Naresh Kumar Gupta, Lupin's President- API & Global Institutional Business. "Lupin, one of India's top five pharmaceutical companies, is proud to bring its expertise in development to help deliver DTG to countries most in need." Headquartered in Mumbai, Lupin is also a growing generics player in the US, developing a wide range of branded and generic formulations, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and biotechnology products.
"A licence for a new ARV recently launched in Europe and the US offers a rare opportunity to improve standard of care in developing countries quickly. With its strong efficacy profile at small doses, generic DTG could play a large role in bettering options for millions of people living with the virus. We are looking forward to working with the MPP on developing DTG for high incidence markets," said Mr. Mohan Kumar, CEO - Pharma of Strides Arcolab. A global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Bangalore, India, Strides Arcolab boasts eight manufacturing facilities and a presence in more than 75 countries.
New generic partners HEC Group and Huahai join other manufacturers to produce low-cost versions of Gilead Sciences' antiretrovirals (ARVs) including tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). "Chinese manufacturers, specifically the HEC Group, have a strong expertise in manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and we are happy to contribute to the scale up of HIV medicines in developing countries," said Mr. Wang Xuming, HEC Group Head of Business Affairs and Development. "Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical, a large manufacturer of API and drug products with operations throughout China and the US, welcomes our agreement with the MPP," said Mr. Jie Wang, Vice President. "Huahai was founded on the principle of bettering health options through innovation and we are happy to play a role in the HIV field."
MPP also signed an agreement with current partner Hetero to manufacture lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) following a licence agreement with AbbVie late last year for this WHO-recommended treatment for children. The licence allows Hetero to reformulate LPV/r and ritonavir paediatric formulations for distribution to young children in developing countries. To date, MPP's generic partners for its range of ARVs include Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano, Emcure, HEC Group, Hetero, Huahai, Laurus, Lupin, Micro Labs, Mylan, Shasun, Shilpa and Strides Acrolab.
MPP generic partners have distributed 2.18 billion treatments of generic medicines to 117 countries, the equivalent of six million patient-years. The organisation estimates that generic versions of its licensed ARVs could save the international community between US$ 1.18 and 1.4 billion over the next decade.
About the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)
The Medicines Patent Pool offers a public health-driven business model that aims to lower the prices of HIV medicines and facilitate the development of better-adapted HIV treatments through voluntary licensing and patent pooling. The MPP was founded and remains fully-funded by UNITAID as part of its strategy to increase access to better and more affordable HIV medicines and works with a range of stakeholders - communities of people living with HIV, governments, industry and international organisations. To date, MPP has signed licensing agreements for 12 antiretrovirals (ARVs) for countries home to 87-93% of people living with HIV in the developing world.
SOURCE Medicines Patent Pool