Globally, 1.7 million children live with HIV, but only half of them receive antiretroviral therapy. Mercy Investment Services has been actively encouraging pharmaceutical companies to make pediatric versions of their medicines available to developing countries. Recently, Indian generics manufacturing partner Cipla signed a sublicense agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool that will bring affordable lifesaving recommended HIV treatment to infants and children around the world.
The agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Cipla is for the development, manufacture and supply of lopinavir (LPV) and ritonavir (RTV or r), which the World Health Organization recommends as a component of first- and second-line HIV treatment for infants and children. Abbvie holds the patent for these medicines and made them available to MPP in 2014. This agreement will make lopinavir and ritonavir available in countries that are home to 98.8 percent of children living with HIV in developing countries.
Cipla also announced that they are introducing a new product, Quadrimune, will be priced at less than one dollar per day. This will make Quadrimune, which combines four WHO-recommended antiretrovirals in the form of granule-filled capsules more accessible for those who need it. It also improves the treatment by replacing an older, bitter-tasting medicine. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration, parents and caretakers will be able to administer the drugs to children by sprinkling the granules on soft food, water, or milk. The 4-in-1 does not require refrigeration and is easy to administer to infants and children of different weights and ages.
Mercy Investment Services continues to engage AbbVie and other branded pharmaceutical manufacturers to find innovative ways to increase the availability of these life-saving treatments in communities around the world.