Commerce Secretary Locke Lobbies for Gilead in India

Mike Palmedo
December 8, 2010

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has written the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry to weigh in on Gilead’s patent application.  Gilead’s Indian patent application for the antiretroviral drug tenofovir (Viread) was rejected last year on the grounds that it is a derivative of a known substance that did not demonstrate greater efficacy than known substances, and it was therefore ineligible for patentability under Indian law.  The company has appealed this decision to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Secretary Locke’s letter states that “India should fully consider the requisite business climate for spurring innovation, especially with respect to intellectual property protection,” and warns that he is “particularly concerned that the U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Gilead’s HIV/AIDS drug Viread receives fair consideration.”

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