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Gilead Becomes First Company to License Drugs to Medicines Patent Pool

July 12, 2011

"In the first agreement between a pharmaceutical company and the new international Medicines Patent Pool, Gilead Sciences announced Tuesday that it would license four of its AIDS and hepatitis B drugs to the pool," the New York Times reports (McNeil, 7/12).

Under the agreement, several generic drug manufacturers will be allowed to make low-cost versions of the medications tenofovir and emtricitabine; two drugs that are still in clinical development, cobicistat and elvitegravir; and an experimental combination pill of all four of these drugs, known as the Quad, Agence France-Presse writes. The deal "is unusual because pharmaceutical companies very rarely allow licensing of drugs for public health while the product is still in clinical development," according to the news agency (7/12).

"Ellen 't Hoen, the pool's executive director, told Reuters she was negotiating terms for similar deals with ViiV Healthcare -- a GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer joint venture -- as well as with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sequoia Pharmaceuticals" (Hirschler, 7/12).

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