- Spain’s top research institution struck a licensing deal that paves the way for its COVID-19 antibody test to be produced more cheaply in developing countries.
- Merck signs a royalty-free licensing deal to expand global access to its Covid-19 pill.
- Pfizer and the medicines patent pool (MPP) sign licensing agreement for covid-19 oral antiviral treatment candidate to expand access in low- and middle-income countries.
- Eli Lilly gives royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licenses to eight Indian pharmaceutical companies
- Gilead gives royalty-free licenses for Remdesivir to India’s Jubilant, Cipla, 3 others for COVID-19 treatment.
Spain’s top research institution struck a licensing deal that paves the way for its COVID-19 antibody test to be produced more cheaply in developing countries.
On 23 Nov 2021, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) for a COVID-19 serological antibody technology WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)
WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has finalised a licensing agreement with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) for a COVID-19 serological antibody technology. The test effectively checks for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies developed either in response to a COVID-19 infection or to a vaccine. This represents the first transparent, global, non-exclusive licence for a COVID-19 health tool, and the first test licence signed by MPP and included in the WHO pool.
The aim of the licence is to facilitate the rapid manufacture and commercialisation of CSIC’s COVID-19 serological test worldwide. The agreement covers all related patents and the biological material necessary for manufacture of the test. CSIC will provide all know-how to MPP and/or to prospective licensees as well as training. The licence will be royalty-free for low and middle income countries and will remain valid until the date the last patent expires.
“This licence is a testament to what we can achieve when putting people at the centre of our global and multilateral efforts,” said Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, the founding country of C-TAP. “It shows that solidarity and equitable access can be achieved and that it is worthwhile continuing to support the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and non-exclusivity that the C-TAP defends. Costa Rica welcomes the signing of this licence and is convinced, today more than ever, that mechanisms such as C-TAP can help us overcome the current situation, while being beneficial for future health crises. I thank the Spanish Government and CSIC, for taking a step forward in solidarity and prioritizing health as a global public good.”
“This is the first technology developed by a public-funded institution that joins the C-TAP initiative,” said Diana Morant, Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation. “With agreements like this, we protect lives. Science has the universal purpose of improving people’s lives. Therefore this is also a firm commitment of our government: supporting a public system of science to serve all citizens.
Eli Lilly gives royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licenses to eight Indian pharmaceutical companies
In May 2021, US pharma giant Eli Lilly has issued royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licences to eight Indian pharmaceutical companies to distribute the drug solely for the treatment of Covid-19
“The voluntary licensing agreements will ensure high-quality manufacturing and accessibility of Baricitinib during this pandemic, improving the local treatment options available to positively impact the lives of people who are currently battling Covid-19 in India,” Eli Lilly said in a statement. The firm added that discussions were also taking place with other Indian players for the grant of voluntary licences to manufacture Baricitinib, which has recently found favour among clinicians for the treatment of Covid-19.
Merck signs pact to broaden generic manufacturing of COVID-19 pill
On Oct 27, 2021 – Merck & Co (MRK.N) has signed a licensing agreement with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) that will allow more companies to manufacture generic versions of its experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment, the U.S. drugmaker and the organization announced on Wednesday.
Merck said the royalty-free license would apply to 105 low- and middle-income countries. It allows manufacturers selected by MPP to make generic versions of molnupiravir, the antiviral pill Merck has developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Pfizer to allow generic versions of its Covid-19 pill in 95 countries
On 16 Nov 2021, Pfizer Inc said, it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries. This will be done through a licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool. The voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the MPP will allow the United Nations-backed group to grant sub-licenses to qualified generic drug manufacturers to make their own versions of PF-07321332. Pfizer will sell the pills it manufactures under the brand name Paxlovid.
The voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the MPP will allow the United Nations-backed group to grant sub-licenses to qualified generic drug manufacturers to make their own versions of PF-07321332. Pfizer will sell the pills it manufactures under the brand name Paxlovid. Pfizer, which also makes one of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines, has said the pill cut the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease by 89 percent in its clinical trial. The drug will be used in combination with ritonavir, an HIV drug that is already available generically.
The 95 countries in the license agreement cover around 53 percent of the world’s population and include all low- and lower-middle-income countries and some upper-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. They also include countries that have transitioned from lower-middle to upper-middle-income status in the past five years, Pfizer and the MPP said.
Gilead gives royalty-free licenses for remdesivir to India’s Jubilant, Cipla, 3 others for COVID-19 treatment
In May 2020, Gilead has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based in Egypt, India and Pakistan to further expand supply of remdesivir. The agreements allow the companies – Cipla Ltd.; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.; Eva Pharma; Ferozsons Laboratories; Hetero Labs Ltd.; Jubilant Lifesciences; Mylan; Syngene, a Biocon company; and Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd. – to manufacture remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries. The countries consist of nearly all low-income and lower-middle income countries, as well as several upper-middle- and high-income countries that face significant obstacles to healthcare access. The regulatory approval status of remdesivir varies by country, and the distribution of remdesivir within each country listed below is subject to local laws and regulations.
Under the licensing agreements, the companies have a right to receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for remdesivir to enable them to scale up production more quickly. The licensees also set their own prices for the generic product they produce. The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19, or until a pharmaceutical product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is earlier.
About Gilead Sciences, Inc:
Gilead Sciences, Inc. /ˈɡɪliəd/, is an American biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Foster City, California, that focuses on researching and developing antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and influenza, including Harvoni and Sovaldi. Gilead is a member of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and the S&P 500.
The company has been the subject of significant controversy over its business practices, including extremely high pricing of drugs such as Sovaldi and Truvada in the United States relative to production cost and cost in the developing world.
About Eli Lilly:
Eli Lilly and Company is an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in 18 countries. Its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. The company was founded in 1876 by, and named after, Colonel Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War.
Lilly’s notable achievements include being the first company to mass-produce the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk, and insulin. It was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to produce human insulin using recombinant DNA including Humulin (insulin medication), Humalog (insulin lispro), and the first approved biosimilar insulin product in the US, Basaglar (insulin glargine).
Lilly is currently the largest manufacturer of psychiatric medications and produces Prozac (fluoxetine), Dolophine (methadone), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Zyprexa (olanzapine).
The company is ranked 123rd on the 2019 Fortune 500. It is ranked 221st on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in the world and 252nd on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers. Eli Lilly is a full member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
As of 1997, it was the largest corporation and the largest charitable benefactor in Indiana.
About Merck & Co.:
Merck & Co., Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey. It is named after the Merck family, which set up Merck Group in Germany in 1668. The company does business as Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) outside the United States and Canada,
Merck & Co. was established as an American affiliate in 1891. Merck develops and produces medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It has multiple blockbuster drugs or products each with 2020 revenues including cancer immunotherapy, anti-diabetic medication and vaccines against HPV and chickenpox.
The company is ranked 69th on the 2021 Fortune 500 and 92nd on the 2021 Forbes Global 2000, both based on 2020 revenues.
About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives:
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.