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AbbVie won’t defend its patent for Kaletra so it can be made available for coronavirus treatment

Published on 26/03/20 at 12:51pm
Photo by Air Force Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain

AbbVie has announce it will not defend its patent to its HIV therapy Kaletra (lopinavir) so it can be made widely available for potential treatment in coronavirus.

It is the first company to surrender their intellectual property for a potential COVID-19 treatment. This will also allow generic drugmakers to step up their own production of the formula.

The Financial Times reported that this step has been taken after Israel moved to issue a compulsory license for Kaletra to treat the pandemic.

AbbVie also donated supplies of the drug to China this year during the height of its own outbreak. However, clinical trials in the country have been lackluster so far.  The results showed that there was a non-significant trend towards survival as well as the length of hospital stays in patients with severe cases of coronavirus. The trials saw 200 patients tested with the drug. It is thought it may work better in mild cases as part of a combination therapy.

The drug is among many being tested as a coronavirys treatment by the World Health Organization who are also testing the antimalarial drug chloroquine and Ebola drug remdesivir.

Conor Kavanagh

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