China awards Gilead’s remdesivir patents, scolds local pharma over newsjacking

On 10 March 2020 GBI discussed China’s IP landscape and issues surrounding patent standards.

As one of the few therapies under development that could be beneficial as a treatment for the novel coronavirus-linked pneumonia COVID-19, Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir attracted the attention of local manufacturers early on during the outbreak. In February, the Shanghai-listed companies BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology and Materials Industry Zhongda Group separately announced that they had established manufacturing capabilities in relation to the remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredient. Last week, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) issued reprimands against both companies for their opportunistic and misleading stock exchange announcements, since neither company has any commercial or intellectual property (IP) rights in relation to the drug.

The notifications will be welcomed by multinational pharma companies operating in China, and follows the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) decision to award three patents for remdesivir, with five other patent filings still pending. Concerns had earlier been raised after the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought a China patent for remdesivir as part of a combination therapy specifically for COVID-19. GBI discussed China’s IP landscape and issues surrounding patent standards with Tony Chen, partner at Jones Day, in an exclusive interview published in CPB Review Volume 95. That interview is available to GBI SOURCE users via the Newswire page.

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