Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mylan ready to make Tamiflu?

"We have the ability to produce very large quantities" of the vaccine, Robert Coury (CEO of Mylan) said. "Not everybody has our capacity." He said later that if it receives the nod from Roche, Mylan would make Tamiflu in its Morgantown, W.Va., production plant.

However, note the creator of the active ingredient of Tamiflu is Gilead, not Roche.

Of the Gilead connection, note the relationship of the Tamiflu business to Donald Rumsfeld; from AP:

In a memo released October 28, 2005, Rumsfeld repeated his ongoing plan to recuse himself from any decision that involves Gillead Sciences, Inc., in which he has long had a financial interest. He disclosed his interest when he became secretary and said he would not take part in any matters that could affect that interest.

Specifically, Rumsfeld said he would not participate in any way in the development and acquisition by the government of vaccines and treatments for bird flu. But he said he will participate in issues involving possible quarantines and use of military personnel in any outbreak, as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance by the military.

The AP article also states:

Tamiflu was invented in 1996 by scientists at Gilead, which quickly sold all commercial rights and manufacturing responsibility to the Swiss giant Roche Holding AG, in exchange for annual royalties.

Actually, Gilead gave an exclusive license to Roche. There are conditions under which Gilead could reclaim its interest, and Gilead has been asserting these conditions since July 2005.


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