Collaboration with Natco Pharma Ltd exemplifies CCMD’s commitment to provide affordable treatment and enhance the well-being of Hepatitis patients

Kuala Lumpur, December 8, 2017 – CCM Duopharma Biotech Berhad (CCMD) has entered into a collaboration with Natco Pharma Ltd of India to commercialise a range of Hepatitis C products in Malaysia to improve access and affordability for patients who currently have to fork out large sums of money for treatment in the country.

Under the strategic partnership, CCMD also gains the right from Natco Pharma Ltd to market and sell a wide range of Hepatitis products in Malaysia. These products were developed by Gilead Sciences Ireland UC and have granted Natco Pharma Ltd the right to manufacture, market and sell Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and formulations containing their proprietary compounds.

The partnership promotes greater access to affordable Hepatitis medications in Malaysia as a Voluntary License (VL) was issued by Gilead Sciences Ireland UC to Natco Pharma Ltd in 2017. The issuance of the VL enables generic companies such as Natco Pharma Ltd to manufacture and commercialise generic products for specific countries that are considered under-developed and developing. This allows generic versions of the costly drugs to be made accessible in these countries including Malaysia, where they will benefit approximately 500,000 Hepatitis C patients.
The VL will also enable CCMD to offer the generic products to both public and private hospitals in Malaysia.

The medications include generic versions of the following drugs: Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi®) for treating adult patients with chronic Hepatitis C with or without cirrhosis; Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir (Epclusa®) to treat adult patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus genotype 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 infections; Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir (Harvoni®), a direct-acting antiviral agent to treat chronic Hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults; *Sovaldi, Epclusa and Harvoni are registered trademarks of Gilead Sciences Ireland UC. Natco Pharma Ltd or CCMD do not have any rights or licenses to these trademarks. The products in Malaysia shall be marketed by CCMD under different brand names.

Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar, CCM Group Managing Director said that the collaboration with Natco Pharma Ltd would enable CCMD to address serious public health challenges in the country and offer people living with Hepatitis better access to affordable treatment.

“Hepatitis C is known as a silent epidemic and it has been reported that about 500,000 Malaysians have the disease with 2,000 new cases every year. Currently, only a select few can afford treatment for Hepatitis C as medication may cost up to RM300,000 per treatment. Some patients even spend more to participate in clinical trials for other potential cures or seek treatment overseas,” said Leonard Ariff.

“Every patient has the right to gain access to affordable and high-quality treatment. CCMD’s partnership with Natco Pharma Ltd reflects our commitment to meet the increasing need for reasonably priced Hepatitis medications in the country. We are confident that this breakthrough initiative will significantly improve patients’ quality of life and enable them to lead healthier and happier lives. CCMD will continue to explore strategic options to address the affordability and access to safe and effective medicines in the future” he added.

Meanwhile, Rajeev Nannapaneni, Natco Pharma Ltd Vice Chairman and CEO said the strategic partnership enables both parties to work closely toward driving value creation and delivering affordable essential medications to Hepatitis patients. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with CCMD and we are confident that the collaboration will enable both parties to leverage each other’s expertise and resources to provide ground-breaking solutions to patients
and advance the treatment of Hepatitis in Malaysia” he added. The latest effort by CCMD marks its second collaboration with Natco Pharma Ltd. Previously, CCMD collaborated with the pharmaceutical company to commercialise a wide range of oncology products.

With the rising demand for affordable Hepatitis medications in the country, CCMD will start registering and marketing these products upon receiving marketing authorisation from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). CCMD will consider localising the manufacturing of these products through technology transfer if volume requirements for the Malaysian market is substantial enough for local manufacturing or upon the Government’s request.