Pfizer Gets Patent for New HIV/AIDS Drug in India, Says Report
December 11, 2007
According to a report on the Web site of the Business Standard, the Bombay Patent Office has granted Pfizer a patent on its new AIDS drug Selzentry (maraviroc). Quoting a spokesperson of Pfizer India, the newspaper said the patent had been issued, and the company is in the process of complying with regulations for its registration.
Under development by Pfizer scientists for 10 years, the medication, the first in a new class of HIV/AIDS drugs, works by blocking HIV's entry into cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Selzentry in August, and the European Commission did so in September.
This is the latest development in a series of struggles between multinationals, who want patent protection in the Indian market, and patients' advocates, who say millions of poor people will be affected by decisions that determine the drugs' pricing and availability.
"We are committed to bringing meaningful improvement to the lives of people living with and those at risk of HIV/AIDS through outreach programs that will enable access to innovative medicines to patients," the Pfizer India spokesperson said.