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Roche grants Tamiflu licence

16th December 2005

Roche has granted its first licence to produce the avian influenza drug Tamiflu to the Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group.

The Chinese firm will produce a generic version of Tamiflu, oseltamivir, for use in case of pandemic in China only.

Roche has also chosen 12 potential partners for licensing, which are yet to be identified, after receiving 200 applications from firms interesting in producing the drug.

The Swiss firm has also reiterated that Tamiflu is not patent protected in Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, so the governments of these countries are free to manufacture oseltamivir.

This news has been followed by clearance from European and Swiss authorities for the drug to be used by children.

Eduard Holdener, head of global pharma development in the Pharmaceutical Division, said: “After approval by the European Commission and Swissmedic, Roche plans to make Tamiflu available to prevent influenza in very young children who are particularly vulnerable during an outbreak of the disease.

“This is particularly helpful in the family setting when one member of the family catches influenza – using Tamiflu for prevention will stop the spread of the disease to other family members.”

Children have been found to be three times more likely to become sick with the flu, but the protective efficacy of Tamiflu was seen to be the same in children aged one to 12 as in the whole population.

track© Adfero Ltd

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