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IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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    New Initiative To Address Lack Of Paediatric-Specific HIV Treatments

    Published on 19 May 2014 @ 12:33 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    As the World Health Assembly, a new partnership has been launched by three major public health actors in the field of HIV treatment. The initiative is meant to find improved treatments for children suffering from HIV/AIDs. Although all actors agree that significant progress has been made on adult treatments, children-specific medicines are still lacking.

    UNITAID, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) are joining forces to ensure that appropriate HIV treatments are available for children. A major concern, according to speakers, is the lack of specific single-dose combinations of drugs for infants, children and adolescents.

    The Paediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) will focus on three areas, according to the PHTI: Research & development for new treatments; intellectual property – sharing patents and knowledge; and market-shaping – availability of treatment regiments for children living with HIV/AIDS.

    Out of more than 3 million children living with HIV/AIDS, only 647,000 are treated with antiretroviral therapy, according to PHTI.

    Several health ministers were invited to share their view of the PHTI and their national experiences at a high-level ministerial cocktail event on 18 May, during which the PHTI was launched. There will be a further launch during the WHA this week.

    Brazilian Health Minister Arthur Chioro said the country saw a significant drop in vertical transmission of the virus (mother to child). In Brazil, he said, universal access to antiretroviral medicines is guaranteed by law but access for children is restricted by the lack of appropriate paediatric medications. He stressed the need for developing countries to get support from multilateral organisations, such as UNITAID.

    Helia Molina, the Chilean minister of health, said small children have rights and one basic right is achieving their maximum potential.

    South Africa Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi insisted on the “very little incentive for industry” for paediatric fixed-dose combinations in developing countries.

    Medicines Patent Pool Executive Director Greg Perry said the PHTI was seeking to accelerate development and delivery of appropriate innovative fixed-dose combinations for children by bringing together all the actors needed in the initiative. He mentioned the pharmaceutical industry, funders, generic manufacturers, procurement agencies, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

    The PHTI means to “create a holistic approach,” Perry said, adding that the initiative “can only work if we all work together with that one objective.” The key role of the MPP is to work with industry to share the intellectual property, he explained. He also announced new open negotiations with Merck on paediatric medicines.

    DNDi Executive Director Bernard Pecoul said infants born with HIV/AIDS have to take a series of medicines twice a day, alcohol-based syrup, with a repulsive taste. Those medicines also need a cold chain. All those represent a series of obstacles to overcome, he said.

    The PHTI seeks to develop a fixed-dose combination that would address major challenges, such as solving the nasty taste of the treatment, making it suitable for infants under three years old, and TB-compatible, and avoiding the need for a cold chain.

    Dominique Limet, CEO of ViV Healthcare, a company specialising in new HIV medicines, said the company is extremely engaged in collaborating with MPP and UNITAID. “We really have a role to play,” he said, so that “no patient is left behind.”

    The Executive Director of the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS, Suzette Moses-Burton, said 35 years into the epidemic, “we are still failing children with HIV,” with two-thirds of the children in need of treatment left behind. The fact that vertical transmission has been reduced might induce the feeling that the issue of children with HIV/AIDS is already solved, she said.

    The meaningful involvement of communities of people living with HIV/AIDS is of primary importance, she said, adding that in the past it has been challenging for communities to engage with some of the stakeholders, in particular on prices and voluntary licences.

    A number of representatives of international and civil society organisations, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, also expressed support for the PHTI.

    According to a PHTI document, the initiative “will operate through a series of synergistic working groups to address” the three key areas. “These product-specific working groups will, in turn, convene key players in the ARV [antiretroviral] medicines and paediatrics fields to pool knowledge, talent, resources and IP for the ultimate goal of developing and delivering better paediatric formulations, and ensuring they are accessible.”

    “Pharmaceutical companies with key paediatric ARV products will be invited to join the initiative to share appropriate intellectual property rights, know-how, knowledge, and experience for the development of WHO’s priority products for children,” the document says.

     

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

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