The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, viral hepatitis-C and tuberculosis treatments in low and middle-income countries, has signed manufacturing licences with six Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce generic versions of anti-retrovirals and hepatitis-C anti-viral.
The companies include Aurobindo Pharma, Emcure, Hetero Labs, Laurus Labs, Lupin and Zydus Cadila, besides a Chinese company Desano, for a total of nine sub-licensing agreements.
“These new sub-licences will secure greater volumes of low-cost medicines for people living with HIV and hepatitis C in low and middle-income countries,” Greg Perry, MPP’s executive director, said in a statement.
Till date, MPP has signed agreements with six patent holders for 12 HIV anti-retrovirals and for one hepatitis-C direct-acting antiviral. Its generic partners have distributed more than three billion doses of low-cost medicines to 121 countries.
MPP’s long-time generic partner Aurobindo Pharma signed two new sub-licences. The first allows the company to produce lopinavir and ritonavir for Africa, following MPP’s agreement with AbbVie in December 2015. Aurobindo also joins six other companies in the development of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)’s daclatasvir, the first hepatitis C medicine in MPP’s portfolio.