According to the Medicines Patent Pool, a UN-backed non-governmental organisation, AbbVie will no longer enforce patents relating to Kaletra anywhere in the world for all formulations, reported the Financial Times.
The news source said the move makes AbbVie the first major drugmaker to drop its rights to generate sales from a drug that might be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company gave notice of the change last week, according to a document seen by the Financial Times, after Israel moved to issue a compulsory licence for its use against SARS-CoV-2.
Kaletra, which combines the antivirals lopinavir and ritonavir, is usually used to treat HIV, but some doctors have turned to it for treating patients with coronavirus.
In addition, the drug's efficacy is being studied in several clinical trials, including one by the World Health Organization.
The company had already donated a supply to Chinese health authorities in January. However, a Chinese study of Kaletra, which was published in the NEJM last week, showed disappointing results, with no effect on outcomes.
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