Bristol-Myers Squibb, Medicines Patent Pool Extend Licence for Atazanavir to 122 Developing Countries
25 July 2017
Extension of 2013 agreement allows an additional 1.4 million people living with HIV to benefit from sublicensed generics of World Health Organization-recommended antiretroviral
Paris, 25 July 2017 — The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has signed an extension of its licensing agreement with biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to further increase access to atazanavir (ATV), part of the World Health Organization-preferred second-line treatment for adults and children.
Announced during an MPP-jointly hosted satellite at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Paris this evening, the amendment adds 12 countries to the 110 included in the original 2013 agreement. Home to 1.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), the additional countries are: Algeria, Cook Islands, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Niue, the Philippines, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam. The agreement now covers 89% of PLHIV in low- and middle-income countries.
“Our ATV licence has already demonstrated results for communities battling resistance to current regimens in low- and middle-income countries,” said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the MPP. “We are pleased to work with long-term partner BMS to broaden access to an important second-line option for many more people living with HIV.”
“Our work with the MPP is an important part of our commitment to access through multi-faceted approaches that help ensure innovative medicines such as atazanavir are available to patients all around the world,” said Amadou Diarra, Head of Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are pleased by the continuing progress made to that end through our licensing agreements with the MPP.”
Since the MPP and BMS signed the licensing agreement for ATV in December 2013, the MPP’s six generic manufacturing partners have distributed 98 million doses of the treatment, equivalent to a quarter of a million patient-years, to 63 countries.
“We are grateful for MPP efforts to ensure the availability and quality of guaranteed HIV treatment for Ukrainian patients and we hope to further expand access to innovative medicines for the treatment of HIV infections, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis.”
Dr. Ulana Suprun, Minister of Health, Ukraine
“The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) welcomes the Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Medicines Patent Pool agreement on the inclusion of Ukraine in the atazanavir licence. This is a very important development for Ukraine in terms of the HIV treatment optimisation efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ukraine and the Network, and the availability of generic atazanavir will improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for people living with HIV in Ukraine.”
Sergey Dmitriev, Director of Policy and Advocacy of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA
“This is great news for Malaysia as it provides a very interesting option for affordable second-line treatment.”
Edward Low, Director of the Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
“The availability of generic atazanavir will bring more treatment options for PLHIV in Indonesia. Considering that atazanavir has lower pill counts and more favourable effects on lipid levels than existing protease inhibitors used in-country, its availability is beneficial.”
Edo Agustian, National Coordinator, Indonesia Drug User Network
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 industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast 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 twelve HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, a tuberculosis treatment and two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals. The MPP is funded by Unitaid.
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