Gilead have agreed to collaborate with generic firms Mylan, Ranbaxy and Strides to reduce manufacturing costs, accelerate access and improve availability of Gilead's HIV medicine emtricitabine (FTC) in developing countries.
This agreement includes single tablet regimens containing emtricitabine and fixed-dose combinations of emtricitabine co-formulated with other Gilead HIV medicines.
Emtricitabine, which is marketed by Gilead under the brand name Emtriva, is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), along with well tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), as the preferred components of first and second line HIV therapy.
The agreement will also see the India-based generic companies take over manufacturing of emtricitabine from Gilead, as well as fund process improvements to reduce manufacturing costs.
Within developing countries it is thought that there are around 3m people living with HIV/AIDS who are receiving medicine, and 2.7m of those receive a TDF-containing regime, a medicine originally developed by Gilead and that is now licensed to generic manufacturers.
However, it is estimated that around 7m people are still in need of treatment and are waiting for access to medicines, according to a special report from Médecins Sans Frontières.
By reducing costs and bringing manufacturing closer to developing nations, it is hoped that vital HIV/AIDS drugs will reach a greater number of those in need of treatment.
A total of thirteen Indian generic companies now have licensed Gilead HIV medicines through non-exclusive generic licensing agreements established with generic manufacturers.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch commented that she was “delighted to be collaborating with Gilead” in an attempt to enable greater access to affordable medicine for HIV in developing countries.