Press release |

MSF responds to DNDi hepatitis C announcement

2 min
Photograph by Sa'adia Khan
MSF Staff conducting a health promotion workshop to raise awareness amongst students about Hepatitis C.

Geneva, 13 April 2016 — MSF is encouraged by the progress made by DNDi in launching phase II/III clinical trials to test a combination treatment of the hepatitis C drug candidate ravidasvir and the registered hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. The combination treatment will be trialled alongside the current standard of care for hepatitis C, sofosbuvir plus daclatasvir, in patient populations in Malaysia and Thailand, with the full cooperation of both governments. Malaysia and Thailand are both middle-income countries who are facing the prospect of spiralling costs if hepatitis C treatment is purchased from US originator companies.  

The potential of having an effective pan-genotypic oral cure for hepatitis C treatment that can be sourced at less than $300 per treatment is something that governments need to take note of. If DNDi’s study with sofosbuvir/ravidasvir shows high safety and efficacy for all genotypes of hepatitis C, governments in high-burden countries will be encouraged to take steps to address intellectual property barriers that prevent access to these affordable combination treatments.  

Ravidasvir was developed by California biotech Presidio Pharmaceuticals (Presidio) and is being sourced from Presidio’s licensing partner, Egyptian generic manufacturer Pharco Pharmaceuticals, for the clinical trials. “We look forward to potentially seeing an affordable alternative treatment combination that works for all people with hepatitis C.

“In March 2016, DNDi concluded agreements with Presidio and Pharco that covered ravidasvir, and supplies of ravidasvir and sofosbuvir not just for the clinical trials but subsequent post trial access in high-burden countries. MSF welcomes the transparency of this deal and is awaiting the publication of this licensing agreement for public analysis on its terms and conditions that could impact access in several middle-income and high-income countries.”

- Dr. Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer, MSF Hepatitis C Advisor