16 May 2016
Reporter: Tammy Facey

India grants Gilead Sciences patent for Sovaldi

Gilead Sciences has had its patent application for hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) accepted in India.

The Indian Intellectual Property Office (IIPO) granted Gilead’s application for the patent on 7 May, after rejecting its initial application in January last year.

The IIPO initially rejected the application on the ground of evergreening, ruling that the mere discovery of a new form of a known substance, which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of the substance, is not eligible for patent protection.

Gilead appealed against the decision and on 7 May the IIPO approved the formulation, describing the drug compound as novel and inventive.

Gilead faced opposition from the Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) over access to the drug in certain countries.

I-MAK claimed the treatment was too expensive. The recommended 12-week course of treatments costs $84,000 in the US, or $1,000 per pill.

But in India, Gilead is engaged in voluntary licensing programmes with 11 generic manufacturers.

As of 26 April, the cost of Sovaldi was $384 per bottle, or around $14 per pill, in India, according to the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV.

A spokesperson for Gilead commented: “We welcome news that the [IIPO] of New Delhi has granted our patent application.”

The spokesperson added: “[Our current] licensing programme enables the manufacture and distribution of high-quality, low-cost versions of the company’s medicines for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.”

More Asia news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Qualcomm hit with $775 million fine in Taiwan
13 October 2017 | Taipei | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Qualcomm has been hit with a $775 million fine, after the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission found that the chipmaker had abused its position in the baseband chip market
Chinese patent examiners need stronger legal sense
15 September 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Chinese patent examiner’s need their legal sense to be strengthened if they are to have an accurate grasp of the provisions of Chinese patent law, according to Owen Ma, manager of the patent application department at China Patent Agent
Qualcomm loses KFTC appeal
05 September 2017 | Seoul | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The semiconductor company lost a bid to overturn an order forcing it to engage in ‘good-faith negotiations’ with chip companies
AIPPI Sydney is coming
01 September 2017 | Sydney | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A busy year at the AIPPI will culminate in a world congress in Sydney in October
Australian government to abolish innovation patent
29 August 2017 | Canberra | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The innovation system is unlikely to provide net benefits to the Australian community or to small- and medium-sized enterprises
Trump fires forward in China IP investigation
15 August 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
US President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum asking the US Trade Representative to examine whether China should be investigated for alleged intellectual property malpractice
SIPO launches new IP rights centre
03 August 2017 | Shanghai | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The centre will focus on providing fast protection for rights in the manufacturing and biopharmaceutical industries