Sofosbuvir faces fresh patent challenge in Europe

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 30 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1632
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg

The medical aid charity Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) and other non-governmental organisations have begun a new legal challenge aimed at revoking the European patent for the blockbuster hepatitis C treatment sofosbuvir, to allow the sale in Europe of cheaper generic versions of the drug.

The patent is held by the US drug firm Gilead Sciences, which markets sofosbuvir under the highly profitable brand name Sovaldi. Sofosbuvir is also a component of Harvoni and Epclusa, two other hepatitis C treatments marketed in Europe by Gilead Sciences.

The new patent challenge, filed on 27 March 2017 at the European Patent Office in Munich, is the second major challenge to one of Gilead’s European patents for sofosbuvir. The first challenge was filed in 2015 by several groups, …

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