(Photo Courtesy: www.medicinespatentpool.org)
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced its first round of sub-licenses for the generic production of Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir, a novel direct-acting antiviral that is proven to help cure multiple genotypes of the hepatitis C virus.
Generic companies Cipla, Emcure, Hetero and Natco have signed non-exclusive, royalty free agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb and the MPP to produce and sell daclatasvir in 112 low- and middle-income countries.
The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organization working to increase access to HIV, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries.
The sub-licenses follow MPP's announcement of its first hepatitis C licensing agreement, signed with Bristol-Myers Squibb in November 2015, and mark the first time that generic manufacturers have worked through a non-profit, public health organization to increase access to new hepatitis C medicines for developing world patients.
Between 130 and 150 million people worldwide are estimated to have hepatitis C.