Pfizer to challenge patent revocation of cancer drug Sutent
New Delhi: Drug firm Pfizer India Friday said it will appeal against a ruling by Indian Patents Office, which has revoked patent for its cancer drug Sutent.
The Indian Patents Office last month issued an order revoking Pfizer's patent of the drug in the country.
"We believe the decision undermines intellectual property rights in India and we will vigorously defend our basic Sutent patent," Pfizer India Managing Director Jazz Tobaccowalla said in a statement.
According to company officials, Sutent was granted a patent in India in 2007 but Cipla had opposed it the following year.
Sutent is used in treatment of different types on cancers, including that of intestine, kidney and pancreas.
In a bid to bring down the cost of medicine, the Indian Patent Office had earlier in March this year had invoked a law permitting Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer-treatment drug Nexavar at a price, over 30 times lower than charged by its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.
Pfizer India said recognising that affordability of cancer treatment can be a challenge for some patients, it has developed the Sutent Patient Assistance Programme (SPAP).
"The programme has been running in India for over four years," the company claimed.
"Through patient assistance programmes, like SPAP, and working closely with our stakeholders, Pfizer will continue to improve the availability of innovative medicines to patients across socio-economic levels," it added.
Shares of Pfizer Friday closed at Rs 1,215 on the BSE, down 0.85 percent from its previous close.