AbbVie is giving up its patents on a combination drug that is being studied as a coronavirus treatment, becoming the first major drugmaker to drop its rights to make money from a drug that might be used during the pandemic.
The US drugmaker will no longer enforce patents relating to Kaletra anywhere in the world for all formulations, according to the Medicines Patent Pool, a UN-backed non-governmental organisation.
Kaletra is a combination of two antivirals — lopinavir and ritonavir — and is usually used to treat HIV. But some doctors have turned to it for treating patients with coronavirus, and its efficacy is being studied in several clinical trials, including one by the World Health Organization.
With international scrutiny focusing on a narrowing set of drugs currently in tests to treat the symptoms of the novel coronavirus, drugmakers are already facing shortages that could threaten global supply. To counter that demand—and quash accusations of profiteering—Abbvie has reportedly taken...