Geneva, 3 October 2018. The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV Healthcare – a global specialist company – signed an extension of their licensing agreement in July 2018, to further increase access to key antiretroviral dolutegravir (DTG) for adults living with HIV in Mongolia and Tunisia. This amendment allows generic manufacturers to supply low-cost quality-assured DTG and combinations in the two countries.
DTG-based regimens have been recommended by the World Health Organization as the preferred first-line treatment for people living with HIV, including adults and adolescents as well as children for whom there is approved DTG dosing. Notably, TLD (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/lamivudine/dolutegravir) is a new convenient once-daily single-tablet regimen for adults and adolescents. DTG is also an important option in other lines of therapies.
“The MPP has worked with long-standing partner ViiV Healthcare since 2014, when the initial licensing agreement was signed. But that was just a starting point”, says Charles Gore, Executive Director of the MPP. “We are pleased to continue our work with ViiV Healthcare and, after the inclusion of all lower middle-income countries, especially four countries with patents – Armenia, Moldova, Morocco and Ukraine – in 2016, we are thrilled to expand the licence to add Mongolia and Tunisia, recently classified as lower middle-income countries by the World Bank”.
To date, 18 generic manufacturers have signed MPP sublicences for DTG, of which four companies are ready to supply quality-assured DTG 50mg, six have developed quality-assured TLD, and two are already distributing it. More shall follow. Therefore, people living with HIV in Mongolia and Tunisia should be able to receive these much-needed medicines shortly.
About the Medicines Patent Pool:
The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with civil society, international organisations, industry, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for 13 HIV antiretrovirals, two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals and a tuberculosis treatment. The MPP was founded and is funded by Unitaid.