Gilead in Negotiations With 10 Indian Generic Drug Companies To Assist in Producing Generic Versions of Truvada, Viread
Pharmaceutical company Gilead is negotiating with 10 Indian generic drug companies to assist them in producing generic versions of Gilead's patented antiretroviral drugs, Bloomberg News reports. Under the proposals Gilead is offering, generic drug companies would be allowed to sell generic versions of the antiretrovirals -- including Truvada and Viread -- only in developing countries, and the drugs would look different from the patented versions. India-based Matrix Laboratories said it expects to reach an agreement with Gilead within two months and begin selling generic versions of Truvada next year, Srini Vasan, Matrix senior vice president for business development, said. He added that the company already has discovered how to produce Truvada's active ingredient. According to Bloomberg, Gilead in its negotiations is aiming to decrease the cost of antiretrovirals by encouraging competition. "We think they can beat our prices, and we would love to see that happen," Gregg Alton, Gilead's general council, said, adding, "We're going to teach them everything they need to know to make the product." About 45,000 to 50,000 of the 6.5 million HIV-positive people in developing countries who need antiretrovirals are receiving Gilead drugs, Bloomberg reports.
According to Bloomberg, other companies that produce antiretrovirals, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche, have said that they are examining similar agreements to assist generic drug companies. BMS said it will assist South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare and India-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals in producing generic versions of its antiretrovirals. "We didn't just send them the owners manual, but we also sent them our technicians to work in their labs," Donne Newbury, director of BMS' global antiretroviral access programs, said, adding that the company will give licenses to other generic companies that want to attempt to make BMS antiretrovirals without assistance (Bloomberg News, 8/7).