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13 Jan 2015

AMy Kazmin & Andrew Ward, Financial Times

India spurns Gilead over hepatitis C patent

India’s patent controller has rejected a patent application from Gilead Sciences for a key compound for its blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, a refusal that activists said would allow Indian companies immediately to start producing cheap generic versions of the medicine...High quality global journalism requires investment...Gilead’s patent application was challenged by Natco Pharma, a Hyderabad-based generic drugs manufacturer, and a New York non-profit group called Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge...The patent controller ruled that the active compound in Sovaldi, also known as Sofosbuvir, was not sufficiently different to a previously-known molecule.High quality global journalism requires investment...While the application for the final form of the drug is still pending in India, lawyers and activists say the rejection of the patent on the base compound significantly increases the likelihood that a patent will be refused for the final compound.