Roche To Transfer Technology for Protease Inhibitor Saquinavir to Three Generic Drug Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa
Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche on Friday said it will provide three generic drug companies in sub-Saharan Africa assistance in producing the protease inhibitor saquinavir under its Technology Transfer Initiative, Reuters South Africa reports (Reuters South Africa, 9/22). The technology transfer for saquinavir -- which is recommended by the World Health Organization as a second-line HIV/AIDS treatment in resource-poor countries -- is available to drug makers in 63 developing nations. About 69% of HIV-positive people worldwide live in countries covered under Roche's TTI (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/13). Roche will transfer the technology to South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare and Kenya-based Cosmos and Universal Corp., Dow Jones/Easy Bourse reports. "We welcome the commitment from these companies to produce their own quality generic versions of saquinavir," Lembit Raego, coordinator of quality assurance and safety of medicines at the WHO, said, adding, "The technical assistance from Roche should help strengthen and extend their manufacturing abilities for quality medicines" (Dow Jones/Easy Bourse, 9/22). Another 25 companies have expressed interest in the TTI, AFX/Forbes reports (AFX/Forbes, 9/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.