Merck partners with Medicines Patent Pool to benefit developing countries

Merck today announced a partnership with Medicines Patent Pool to expand its raltegravir pediatric treatments for HIV-1 infections into developing countries.

Raltegravir is administered to infants and children between 4 weeks old and 12 years old. It is the only available treatment that uses integrase inhibitor technology to treat HIV-1 infections in infants and children. The drug is available in two forms: chewable tablets (25 mg and 100mg) and oral suspension granules (100 mg packets).

Marketed under the brand name ISENTRESS, the raltegravir treatment has proven successful in the U.S. when it is paired with other antiretroviral agents to treat infants and children with HIV-1 infections.

Today's agreement is meant to improve access to the treatment option for children in low- and middle-income nations.

“This agreement with the MPP has been established to provide access to raltegravir to HIV-infected children in developing countries where the burden of HIV infection is highest, including sub-Saharan Africa,” Jackie Neilson, general manager and global commercial leader for the HIV Franchise, Merck, said. “This builds upon Merck’s three-decade long commitment to both innovation and access to address the global HIV epidemic.”

The mutual partnership also enables the two organizations to further develop more raltegravir formulations and other new combinations.

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