Brazil rejects Gilead patent on tenofovir

The Brazilian Patent Office has rejected a patent application filed by Gilead Sciences for tenofovir (Viread), currently one of the key antiretrovirals needed in resource-limited countries. The application was opposed by a coalition of Brazilian NGOs and a government pharmaceutical laboratory.

A statement from Gilead stated that previous patent rejections, including in the US had been overturned on appeal and that the company “remain confident in the strength of our intellectual property for tenofovir and plan to vigorously defend the patent and the scientific innovation on which it is based”.

Several companies in India already make tenofovir (including an WHO-approved version for $158 per year) after Gilead reached agreement with several generic manufacturers not to enforce its patents. Some of the Indian manufacturers and community organisations still object to Gilead’s patent claim that under the Indian patent system. Gilead’s tenofovir currently costs $1,387 in Brazil and is used by almost 40,000 patients.

Source: (3 September 2008) g

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