Sanofi-Aventis holds the patent for docetaxel, which it markets as Taxotere, but the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) of Thailand has issued a compulsory license to cut treatment cost. The GPO intends to distribute docetaxel to citizens unable to afford the cost of treatment.
India-based Venus has been contracted to manufacture and supply docetaxel to the GPO. Venus said it won the contract in an open bidding system despite competition from a Germany-based multi-national pharmaceutical company.
The GPO has conducted an audit of Venus’ manufacturing facility and confirmed it meets international standards. Having completed this step Venus plans to begin shipping docetaxel in November 2010.
“The contract is valid for one year and is expected to generate a business of more than Rs 100m ($2.2m) to the company. We have tie-up with a local pharmaceutical group for marketing and distribution of the product to the entire Thai market”, said Pawan Chaudhary, CMD at Venus.
Winning the contract builds on Venus’ presence in Thailand. Venus has 10 product registrations in Thailand for oncology and anti-infective treatments.
Patents granted, patents invalidated
Earlier this month Venus was granted a patent in the European Union for its anti-infective Sulbactomax. Having secured the patent, which is valid until 2025, Venus plans to enter the EU market in 2013 through the common technical document (CTD) route.
On the other side of the Atlantic a US court ruled two Sanofi patents covering the formulation of Taxotere are invalid. A patent covering the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is valid until November but after this a generic version could become available.