Monday, July 14, 2008

Will it be Raining Patent Litigations in India?

Last edition of IDMA Bulletin (Vol. XXXIX No. 25) has interesting piece of advertisement from Cipla announcing brand names of 20 generic drugs likely to be introduce shortly. Just for the information of overseas readers, in India (unlike the US) generic companies sell generic versions under their own brand names. Here also, the list advertised by Cipla is of brand names not generic names so there is always a possibility of error in identifying the exact drug substance from brand name but still few brand names seems to closely resemble the generic names. The list includes brand names like Soranib (resembling Bayer’s anti-cancer drug Sorafenib), Sunitib (resembling Pfizer’s anti-cancer drug Sunitinib), Sprydas (resembling Bristol-Myer’s anti-cancer drug Dasatinib marketed as Sprycel), Lapanib (resembling Glaxo’s anti-cancer drug Lapatinib) and Nilotib (resembling Novartis’s anti-cancer drug Nilotinib). All these anti-cancer drugs belong to the same class of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors and for which either patent applications are pending or patents are granted in India (see here). Bristol-Myer has already received the Indian Patent No. 203937 for Dasatinib and last year Delhi Patent Office granted Pfizer the Indian Patent No. 209251 for Sunitinib. If Patent Circle guess about brand names is proper then possibly it will be raining patent litigations in India? It seems to be like Erlotinib (Tarceva), Cipla will again go ahead disrespecting patents for other anti-cancer drugs. Watch out … Roche may have company to join.

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