The Brazilian Instituto nacional da Propriedade Industrial announced it will fast track its decision on whether or not to grant patents on the heat-stablized versions of lopinavir+ritonavir (brand names: Kaletra, Aluvia) and ritonavir (Norvir). Both drugs are important antiretroviral drugs recommended by the World Health Organization for HIV/AIDS treatment in resource-poor settings. If the follow on patents are granted, they will not expire until 2024.
The Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples Working Group on Intellectual Property (GTPI) has filed a pre-grant opposition of the patent. In a recent blog on the matter, GTPI alleges that “the claims made by Abbott do not meet requirements of the Brazilian industrial property law, such as novelty and inventive step.” For more information on the Brazilian patent application and opposition, see the GTPI blog, INPI determines priority examination for HIV / AIDS medicines.
Health activists have launched a campaign in 12 countries to expand patient access to Kaletra. The campaigns stated goal is to “spur competition by generic drugmakers and thereby lower the medicine’s price, as well as to free up its components for new and improved combination treatments.” More on the campaign is available at the Global Kaletra Campaign website.