Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mumbai High Court Ask Cipla to Reply in 2 Weeks

Mint has further reported that Justice Abhay Oka of Mumbai High Court has asked Cipla to reply in two weeks to the patent infringement suit filed by Swiss-major F Hoffmann-La-Roche over anti-infection drug Valganciclovir. The case is expected to come up for hearing in the third week of October. In parallel, Roche is also facing post-grant oppositions from Ranbaxy, Cipla and the Delhi Network of Positive People in the Chennai Patent Office. Though we are not able to go through the complete specification of Valganciclovir patent but according to reliable sources Roche’s patent has broadly issued claims which may likely invalidated on the grounds of obviousness (and possibly be challengeable under section 3(d) on the grounds of obvious variation of known compound ganciclovir).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Natco Withdraws Application for ‘Export’ Compulsory Licenses

Mint has reported that Natco requested Controller of Patents to withdraw its applications for compulsory licenses for export of generic anti-cancer drugs Sunitinib and Erlotinib, both patented in India. Earlier, Natco filed application for compulsory licenses of Erlotinib and Sunitinib to be exported to Nepal under section 92A of the Indian patent law. Though Natco’s move was unprecedented and shocked many but legal equations were never favorable for Natco because there was no official notification made by Nepal Government to allow importation of anti-cancer drugs from India (a litmus test for Indian Patent Office to evaluate compulsory license for export). Whatever may be the reasons for Natco to withdraw its application for compulsory license but what can be concluded from the whole episode that it was a bad patent-legal strategy yet was a good business strategy to keep Natco's script rolling on Bombay Stock Exchange?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cipla Mocks Roche’s Patent for Valganciclovir

Mumbai-generic major Cipla has yet again made a mockery of Indian patent law by launching a generic version of Roche patented anti-infection drug Valganciclovir. This is the second instance of Cipla mocking Indian patent after it deliberately launched generic copy of Roche patented anti-cancer drug Erlotinib. Though we are not sure how much impact this will make on availability of drugs to Indian patients but surely it will deteriorate India’s image in global IP scenario. What is more pathetic is India’s legal state-of-affairs which is slowly becoming hand-puppet and regularly been twisted by politicians and strong businesses for their self-business interest. Politicians often used language and regionalism for their political gain but continue to ignore national interest and security for better growth and war against terrorism. Cipla too have mastered targeting high-pricing of innovators’ for their business interests but continue to ignore building healthcare infrastructure. Even after 60 years of independence only margin section of society have access to medicines with most even struggling for food and shelter. Post 1970 Indian generic companies including Cipla made phenomenal growth (in absence of patent protection for pharmaceutical drug products) to thousand crore plus company but still Indian healthcare scenario is struggling for better infrastructure. Over the years, Cipla has proudly publicized to provide cheap AIDS medicines to African countries when back here in India their own people are dying of common disease like tuberculosis, cholera and malaria. What can be more shameful when home grown pharma companies are more concern in exporting AIDS and cancer drugs rather than reaching to rural areas of India to provide medicines for common diseases which make more horror news than AIDS?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drug Patent Expirations: 2009 – 2015

Patent Circle has compiled a list of more than 100 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) going off-patent in the US from the year 2009 – 2015. At least 24 APIs will go off-patent in the year 2009 including Levetiracetam (more than USD 700 million US sales in 2007), Lamotrigine (USD 2.2 billion US sales for twelve months that ended March 2008), Sumatriptan (nearly USD 1 billion US sales in 2007), Valacyclovir (USD 1.3 billion US sales in 2007), Topiramate (USD 2.2 billion US sales for twelve months that ended March 2008) and Tamsulosin (USD 1.3 billion US sales for twelve months that ended September 2007). Moreover, two of the biggest blockbuster drugs Atorvastatin Calcium (USD 6 billion US sales in 2007) and Clopidogrel Bisulphate (USD 3 billion US sales in 2007) will finally reaching end of their patent protection in 2010 and 2011.
Undoubtedly, there is a big opportunity coming up for generic players with many drug compounds going off-patent in next 6 years and our list will keep generic players stay tuned with drug expiries. Readers may buy our report by writing to us at varun@ipfeathers.com. We are confident that our report will help to seize business opportunity in growing competitive generic space.