I-MAK Opposes Patent Application on Hepatitis C Drug Sofosbuvir

I-MAK Opposes Patent Application on Hepatitis C Drug SofosbuvirLegal group I-MAK has opposed the copyright application by US drug-maker Gilead Sciences on hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir at the Indian Patent Office. I-MAK is Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge.

The pre-grant opposition was filed at the Kolkata patent office. Gilead's patent application has been opposed on basis of `old science, known compound', said Tahir Amin, lawyer and director of US-based I-MAK. org.

Sofosbuvir is the first of numerous oral hepatitis C drugs and came into Gilead's fold after it made a firm decision to buy Pharmasset for more than $11 billion in late 2011.

The drug has been suggested for approvals in the European and the US markets and is estimated to be launched in next year.

As compared to existing treatment for hepatitis C, the drug cures the same in very less time. Gilead is likely to charge about $80,000 for one treatment course of sofosbuvir in the US.

As per the approximation of the World Health Organization, there are 184 million people who are infected with hepatitis C all over the world. The disease is responsible for half a million deaths every year.

European regulators have suggested approval of a new drug from Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C. Also, an HIV medicine from GlaxoSmithKline seeks approval. Both of these drugs are expected to be major sellers. Shares in Gilead were increased by 4.4% at 1632 GMT after news of the European recommendation.