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10 May 2016

Gilead gets Indian patent for Hepatitis C drug Solvadi

Brand Name: Sovaldi
Molecule: Sofosbuvir
Innovator Company: Gilead Sciences
In direct contradiction to its earlier order, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark granted American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences the patent for the blockbuster Hepatitis C drug Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) in India.
An application for the same patent was first rejected in January 2015 as lacking inventiveness and novelty.
On Monday, however, the patent office dismissed all pre-grant oppositions and stated that it found, “claimed compounds are novel, inventive and patentable under Patents Act.”
Gilead has already entered into licensing deals with Indian companies, so generic versions of the drug are available for as little as $335 per 12-week treatment. However, the order will block a sustainable supply of key raw materials (APIs) for producing the drug in countries like Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan, affecting supply of affordable drugs particularly in those countries.
This leaves around 50 million people in such countries, representing more than 40% of the global hepatitis C burden, without access to this drug.

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