The Medicines Patent Pool Initiative, set up with the aim of persuading pharmaceutical companies to waive intellectual property rights to their HIV/AIDS drugs, has announced its first possible successes.
Set up by Unitaid in 2009, the pool has announced that it is in negotiations with F. Hoffman-La Roche, Gilead Sciences, Sequoia Pharmaceuticals and ViiV Healthcare (a joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer).
The biggest surprise is the discussions with ViiV Healthcare, said Sarah Boseley in her Guardian blog, as GSK had seemed uninterested in the concept. Although committed to improving access to its medicines in poor countries, chief executive Andrew Witty said they were taking other routes.
The patent pool has listed on its website all the companies it has approached, along with the replies from those who are "less than enthusiastic", said the article.