Monday, November 07, 2005

More on Tamiflu and Gilead's US 5,763,483

To followup on a few points:

There is no doubt that the the patent on
Oseltamivir phosphate (known as TAMIFLU)[US 5,763,483] was granted to Gilead and is currently owned by Gilead (but exclusively licensed to Roche Holdings). There is currently a dispute between Gilead and Roche on whether Roche has complied with the terms of the license.

Of ways to synthesize, note the following text from a later US patent:

Oseltamivir phosphate (Ro64-0796, GS4104) is a prodrug of oseltamivir carboxylate (Ro64-0802, GS4071), a potent and selective inhibitor of the neuraminidase glycoprotein essential for replication of influenza A and B viruses. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu.RTM.) is available from Roche Pharma.TM. AG (Switzerland). Alternatively, oseltamivir can be prepared according to the methods described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,763,483 to Bischofberger et al and U.S. Pat. No. 5,866,601 to Lew et al.

One notes that Taiwan already claims to be able to make some form of oseltamivir, and I suspect pharma companies in India can make oseltamivir also.

My major concern with van Gelder's piece was that he got so many facts wrong.

Of the point about the role of government in this, note that we already have a US statute (created during World War I) to deal with the government using patented inventions. I discussed this most recently in THE IMPACT OF WORLD WAR I ON PRESENT DAY PATENT ISSUES (Intellectual Property Today, Feb. 2005). If the government uses something from a patented invention, the government does have to pay for it.

There are other examples of government intervention. The government forced the creation of a "patent pool" of aviation patents during World War I, which adversely affected the interests of the Wright Brothers. The government forced Marconi out of the American radio business. The government adjusted the patent rights of AT&T/Bell Labs.

[submitted at the Mind Trap


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