The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Unitaid have jointly published a study into the patent landscape for long-acting technologies with the potential to have a major impact on preventing or treating HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and malaria in low- and middle-income countries.
The Intellectual Property Report on Long-Acting Technologies provides an overview of the intellectual property status of long-acting products under development or already on the market as of October, 2018.
The patent situation for long-acting products can be complex, the report finds, involving patent protection on the drugs themselves, on the technologies needed to manufacture them, and, in some cases, on the delivery devices.
In the case of nanoformulations, for example, there is high potential for overlapping patents. The delivery platforms are often applied to multiple products and are covered, as well, by extensive intellectual property protection. These factors and others summarised in the report may complicate adapting some long-acting products to the needs of low- and middle-income countries.
The report also finds that the geographical breadth of patent protection varies significantly among long-acting products, but that in general, products appear to have patents pending or granted for generic manufacturing in key countries.
The report, compiled by the MPP and Unitaid, provides a patent landscape of intellectual property protection for long-acting products marketed or under development for prevention and treatment of HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and malaria.
“There is huge potential for long-acting technologies to make a substantial difference to treatment adherence in low- and middle-income countries, for diseases including HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. But this won’t happen by itself,” MPP Executive Director Charles Gore said. “Much collaboration is still required to develop them and then ensure affordable access. This report, by mapping the patent landscape for these technologies, will help accelerate this process.”
The report discusses the challenges of developing a healthy market for long-acting products in low- and middle-income countries. It also touches on the range of actors involved, where opportunities for partnerships might be found to speed development and widen access.
“To avoid the pitfalls of the past, when new medicines were introduced first in high-income countries and only much later in lower-income countries, we need to keep ahead of the curve to prepare for a healthy market and prompt access to these game-changing long-acting tools,” Unitaid Executive Director Lelio Marmora said.
For more information:
Long-acting technologies for infectious diseases in LMICs – The Lancet, October 2018