Roche To Transfer Technology for Protease Inhibitor Saquinavir to Generic Drug Companies in Developing Countries
Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche on Thursday announced it will offer generic drug companies in developing countries assistance in producing the protease inhibitor saquinavir under its Technology Transfer Initiative, Reuters reports (Reuters, 1/12). The technology transfer for saquinavir -- which is recommended by the World Health Organization as a second-line HIV/AIDS treatment in resource-poor countries -- will be available for drug makers in 63 developing nations, according to a Roche release (Roche release, 1/12). About 69% of HIV-positive people worldwide live in countries covered under Roche's Technology Transfer Initiative, Dow Jones reports (Dow Jones, 1/12). "We want to use the knowledge we have developed to help strengthen local manufacturing capability and hope to help as many manufacturers as possible in these hardest-hit countries by sharing our knowledge, so that they can learn and benefit from our technology," Roche CEO William Burns said. The company plans to have a fully operational team to handle requests by the second quarter of 2006. The team will be based in Africa and at the company's headquarters in Switzerland (Roche release, 1/12).
APM's "Marketplace" on Thursday reported on Roche's technology transfer. The segment includes comments from Jennifer Kates, a Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and director of HIV policy; a spokesperson for Roche; and Joseph Perriens, the World Health Organization's head of HIV/AIDS medications (Palmer, "Marketplace," APM, 1/12). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.