In a path-breaking move that will help bring HIV medicine to the masses, drug giant Gilead Sciences signed deals with three Indian firms, including Ranbaxy Laboratories to collaborate on providing low-cost generic versions of its drug emtricitabine in developing countries.
Under the new agreements with Indian companies – Ranbaxy, Strides Arcolab and Mylan Laboratories, “Gilead will provide a technology and funding to assist reduce overall manufacturing costs,” a company statement said.
The deal will allow Indian firms to manufacture high volumes of emtricitabine and tenofovir disproxil fumarate (TDF) based HIV drugs. Incidentally, Gilead Sciences is one of the world’s biggest makes of HIV drugs.
“On-going collaboration (with Indian companies) will be critical for furthering access to affordable, high-quality, first-line HIV treatment for developing countries,” Gilead’s Chairman and CEO John C Martin said.
Over 2.5 million HIV positive patients in developing countries currently receive a TDF-containing regimen, a medicine from the Gilead labs which has been licenced to Indian generic partners to increase affordability and access.
Ranbaxy Laboratories CEO and Managing Director, Arun Sawhney said: “This association with Gilead will enable us to offer quality affordable medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in developing countries”. California-based Gilead sells emtricitabine under the brand name Emtriva.