"If relevant foreign companies plan to contribute to China's epidemic prevention and control, we both agree that if the state needs it, we will not require enforcement of rights given by the patent", it said.
A Chinese institute has applied for a national patent on a potential coronavirus treatment developed by California-based pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences (GILD), according to media reports. "However, it is hoped that all of this is being done with the consent of Gilead-if not, then there are some concerns for sure, as Gilead is clearly the creator/inventor as far as I know and this patent filing could be headed for litigation down the track". The application was made on January 21 together with a military academy, according to a February 4 statement on the institute's website.
While Gilead's experimental drug isn't licensed or approved anywhere in the world, it is being rushed into trials in China on coronavirus patients after showing early signs of being highly effective.
(2) The patentee's exercise of the patent right is in accordance with law, confirmed as monopoly and its negative impact on competition needs to be eliminated or reduced.
But now as more doctors want to try treating patients with the drug near ground zero of the outbreak in Wuhan, the government-run Wuhan Institute of Virology announced this week that it had applied for a "use patent" for remdesivir. While China does in some cases allow so-called "Swiss-style claims" protecting a new use for a known compound, prior art in the form of Gilead-owned and published patents would likely render lab's "innovation" ineligible.
"Gilead has no influence over whether a patent office issues a patent to the Chinese researchers", said a company spokesman, Ryan McKeel. "There may not be enough experimental data to support the technical effects and hence inventive step, especially in light of the strict examination practice in China", Yang adds.
Therefore, because of the relatively lesser time that antiviral drugs may take as against vaccines, scientists are trying to develop new antiviral drugs, and are also looking at existing drugs that may be able to treat the infection.
Article 50 For the benefit of public health, the patent administration department under the State Council may grant a compulsory license for manufacture of the drug, for which a patent right has been obtained, and for its export to the countries or regions that conform to the provisions of the relevant global treaties to which the People's Republic of China has acceded.
Tai points to the example of Roche, which in 2005 made a deal to sublicense the drug Tamiflu to a Chinese manufacturer amid fears of an avian flu outbreak in China. It has been sold in the Chinese market and can be independently provided, the institute said. It is worth monitoring the application as it progresses at CNIPA, but it is probably in everybody's bests interests if it is not allowed to disrupt the ongoing relationship between Gilead and its Chinese partners.