Close on the heels of filing four patent challenges in India, two on daclatasvir, one on velpatasvir and another on sofosbuvir, the international NGO-- Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), in association with other NGOs, has filed a legal challenge against Gilead’s remaining patent for the hepatitis C medicine sofosbuvir in China.
After losing one challenge to Gilead Sciences patents on hepatitis C drugs in India, patient advocacy groups are now challenging still other patents the company holds for its drugs in the country. At the same time, the groups are also challenging Gilead patents in Argentina, moves that reflect an ongoing strategy to widen patient access to the medicines.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Gilead Sciences, Inc., no doubt, is one of the most prominent names when it comes to the development of hepatitis C therapies. The company, however, faced a blow when the patent application for one of its blockbuster hepatitis C drugs, Sovaldi, was rejected in the country of China.
REUTERS: China has rejected a Gilead Sciences Inc patent application related to its costly hepatitis C drug, a U.S. advocacy group said, adding the move may lead to other countries to consider rejecting patents for the controversial treatment.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: In a setback for Gilead Sciences, Chinese authorities have rejected a patent for its Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment, according to one of the patient advocacy groups that filed a challenge… “This means there’s a significant question mark about the inventiveness of this drug,” says Tahir Amin, director of intellectual property at the Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge, or IMAK, one of several advocacy groups that filed the challenge. “Now, its patent protection is significantly weakened. The one patent that could block other competitors coming to the market is now very vulnerable.”