Financial Times has reported that the American pharmaceutical company AbbVie (EbbVi) was the first to take a radical step by abandoning the global patent rights for the antiretroviral drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), which is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2.
This step will allow countries to procure lopinavir/ritonavir in case of drug deficiency or if it is effective in clinical trials.
According to clinical studies of lopinavir/ritonavir in China with 199 patients, the use of the drug did not lead to an improvement in the condition, longer life expectancy, and decreased virus excretion in patients compared with those who received standard therapy.
Meanwhile, Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat believes the drug should not be discounted because it has shown potential efficacy in clinical trials in patients with COVID-19 in a milder form. According to the results of this study, the mortality rate on the 28th day of therapy was 15% versus 27.1% in patients in the placebo group. Treatment began on the 12th day after the onset of symptoms of the disease.
Ellen 't Hoen, director of Medicines Law & Policy has commented on the issue in the article by Financial Times, saying that "Benefits will be immediate for people living with HIV, because generic supply is now possible everywhere in the world. The usefulness for Covid-19 still needs to be demonstrated, and trials have started."