Rejected! That was the decision issued by Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) over one of Gilead’s patent applications for the drug sofosbuvir, which offers a cure for an estimated 1.5 million people living with hepatitis C in Brazil.
On 2 May INPI rejected Gilead’s patent applications (PI0809654-6) for sofosbuvir. The drug is used to treat people living with hepatitis C, and people co-infected with hep C and HIV, and has high efficiency with cure rates of 97% in hep C cases.
The Working Group on Intellectual Property of the Brazilian Network for Integration of Peoples (GTPI/Rebrip), has filed several oppositions in this case. GTPI/Rebrip is a coalition of civil society organisations and activists coordinated by our partner ABIA, which has received legal support from I-MAK, another of the Make Medicines Affordable campaign partners.
“It is a victory for sure, however, it’s a partial victory,” says Pedro Villardi, GTPI coordinator. “In March last year, GTPI had submitted an opposition against Gilead’s patent application (PI0809654-6) and in October last year INPI issued its opinion for rejection of this application. The decision issued this week (2 May 2018), confirmed the rejection.”
The decision emphasized again the “lack of descriptive sufficiency” and “inventive activity” of the patent application. “As this is a decision rather than an opinion, it should have immediate effects if Gilead were to accept it without appeals,” said Villardi.
Gilead has 60 days to file a new appeal.