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The Unsecret Recipe
2006.05.11 (Thu) 22:07

How cool is this? As we learned from "Revere" over on Effect Measure (thanks to Lindsay for the link), the Elias J. Corey laboratory at Harvard has not only come up with a safer, easier and more efficient way to produce Tamiflu, but has also publicized the recipe in lieu of applying for a patent.

In one move, Corey has earned a special place in our hearts, alongside folks like Norman Borlaug and the Kavli Foundation. That is such a cool move we can't stop smiling smugly at Big Pharm about it.

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[  Filed under: % Science & Technology  ]

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CynicalSynth, 2006.05.12 (Fri) 00:58 [Link] »

Corey put this in the public domain because he was working with/for Roche and they already have the patent for the drug. Publication is the fastest route for them to get protection for their drug; once the synthesis is in the public domain, no one else can patent the process. Thus Roche gets to use the now non-patentable process to exclusively make the drug they have the patent for. This also lets them ramp up production, cut costs and lower the price of the drug while increasing their profit margin. By making tons of the stuff, they get rid of their that other countries were screaming for the patent to be broken.

I agree it is a cool move, but not nearly as altruistic as it may seem at first blush. All in all though, any thing that gets the drug cheaper for all is good news.

CynicalSynth, 2006.05.12 (Fri) 01:00 [Link] »

Errr, that should be "their problem that other countries...."

The Two Percent Company, 2006.05.17 (Wed) 13:57 [Link] »

You're right — while it's still good news, it isn't quite as altruistic as we originally thought. We suppose that only people who buy a license from Roche will be able to make use of this new methodology, which means that Roche still controls production. Still, we'll take a small victory here.

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