March 25, 2020 / 6:35 PM / in 13 days

Mylan waives exclusive U.S. distribution rights for potential COVID-19 therapy

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Mylan Laboratories, a company primarily engaged in the commercialization of generic drugs is pictured in Merignac near Bordeaux, France, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Mylan NV said on Wednesday it had waived its exclusive U.S. distribution rights to its generic version of HIV treatment Kaletra, which is currently being tested against the coronavirus.

The move would make other drugmakers eligible to seek U.S. approval for their generic versions of the drug and boost supply, which would help in case studies find that Kaletra is effective in treating COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, Mylan said.

Kaletra, a combination HIV treatment sold by AbbVie Inc, has been considered a potential treatment for the virus, although Chinese investigators have reported that it failed to improve outcomes for seriously ill patients.

Mylan on Friday said it had restarted its production of malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine sulfate, another drug that has been tried with some success against the coronavirus.

There are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for COVID-19. Most patients are receiving only supportive care such as breathing assistance.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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