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The Medicines Patent Pool and Pharco Pharmaceuticals Sign Licence for Promising Hepatitis C Drug Candidate Ravidasvir

21 Apr 17

Agreement seeks to improve health options for hepatitis C patients in low- and middle-income countries  

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced a new licence and technology transfer agreement with Egyptian company Pharco Pharmaceuticals for ravidasvir (RAV), an investigational direct-acting antiviral (DAA) with the potential of working across all six major hepatitis C genotypes. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, will enable competitive supply of RAV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including high prevalence nations Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Iran.

"If successfully developed, ravidasvir could help treat millions of hepatitis C patients and we are pleased to work with Pharco to ensure the availability of affordable versions," said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

"Chronic hepatitis C affects approximately 71 million people globally, with Egypt suffering from one of the highest burdens," said Dr. Sherine Helmy, CEO of Pharco Pharmaceuticals. "RAV, in combination with other hepatitis C treatments, could support new national as well as global goals to eliminate the virus."

MPP's agreement expands the geographic scope of a licence signed by Presidio, the original developer of RAV, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in March 2016, extending coverage to several LMICs that were not included in the DNDi licence. Combined, the MPP and DNDi agreements could potentially benefit countries where 85.3% of people live with hepatitis C in the 139 block of economies classified by the World Bank as low- and middle-income.

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