Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Abacavir and Trizivir Patent Applications Withdrawn by GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline lately dropped the patent claims for its antiretroviral drugs Abacavir and Trizivir in India, which was facing strong pre-grant opposition from the Non-profit Government Organizations over the patentability yardstick under section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970. According to various online sources, Glaxo voluntarily withdrew the Patent Application No. 872/CAL/98 for Abacavir, a second-line treatment for HIV often prescribed to patients who developed resistance against the first line drug therapies treatment and also requested Kolkata Patent Office not to examine the Patent Application No. IN/PCT/00/00521 for Trizivir, a fixed-dose combination therapy containing three drugs, Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Abacavir Sulfate. As far as the patentability of such combination and salt are concerned, it is almost difficult for Glaxo to procure patent protection for such combination and salt under section 3(d) without furnishing sufficient details about the enhancement in efficacy over the known form. In Company’s Official Statement, the Glaxo spokesperson said that the move to drop the patent applications is in public interest and is part of its policy of routine review of patent applications. Earlier this year in August, Glaxo withdrew the Patent Application No. 2044/CAL/1997 for Combivir, a combination therapy containing Lamivudine and Zidovudine.

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