Gilead Sciences announced that it is entering into agreements with Mylan Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, and Strides Arcolab to enhance access in developing countries to generic versions of its anti-HIV medicine, emtricitabine. According to the press release, emtricitabine is recommended by the World Health Organization as one of the preferred components of first- and second-line HIV therapy, but is more expensive than other available therapy options. Under the agreements, Gilead will provide technology transfer to its partners for the manufacture of emtricitabine, together with funding to assist with investment in process improvements. The aim is to reduce overall manufacturing costs, allow Indian generics manufacturers to produce high volumes of Gilead’s antiretroviral therapy, and thereby reduce the cost of emtricitabine to be more in line with that of other therapies.
Gilead says it has a longstanding commitment to make its antiretroviral products available at significantly reduced prices in developing countries. A key component of this commitment is nonexclusive, generic licensing agreements established with Indian manufacturers to produce and sell high-quality, low-cost versions of Gilead's HIV medicines. A total of 13 Indian companies now have licensed Gilead HIV medicines. According to John C. Martin, PhD, Gilead’s chairman and chief executive officer, “India’s pharmaceutical industry is a world leader in process chemistry, and our ongoing collaboration will be critical for furthering access to affordable, high-quality, first-line HIV treatment for developing countries.”