Drug patent row: US firm files appeal against interim order

Drug patent row: US firm files appeal against interim order New Delhi: US pharmaceutical major Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has filed an appeal before the Delhi High Court challenging its single bench order refusing to grant interim relief to it on a patent row against Indian firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

The US-based company filed the appeal before the bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur against the April 5 order of the single bench which had dismissed its plea for restraining Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from manufacturing and marketing anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met.

The division bench would hear the matter tomorrow.

The single judge had in an interim order dismissed MSD's plea but had directed Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to "diligently maintain accounts of the manufacturing/production and sales of the infringing products" and to file the same before it.

The order had came on a petition by MSD which had alleged that the Indian pharma company has violated its intellectual property right (IPR) over its anti-diabetes medicines, Januvia and Janumet, by coming in the market with their own drugs containing the same salts.

However, the high court has kept the main petition of MSD pending for adjudication.

The US firm had sought the high court's order to restrain the Mumbai-based firm from manufacturing and sale of drugs Zita and Zita-Met for treatment of Type-2 diabetes.

The US firm had said it had invented 'Sitagliptin' salt, used in the anti-diabetes drugs, and has patent over the molecule.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, however, had argued it used 'Sitagliptin Phosphate' in its anti-diabetes drugs, Zita and Zita-Met, and the US firm has no patent right over this salt.

Sitagliptin Phosphate has been a distinct product from Sitagliptin and due to this, the US firm had obtained separate patent for Sitagliptin Phosphate in the US, the Indian firm had said.

MSD first applied for separate patent for Sitagliptin Phosphate in India and later abandoned it, it said.

The US firm also said anti-diabetes drug Januvia is not costly as it costs Rs 43 a pill which is roughly 1/5th of its price in the US.

According to market sources, a strip of seven tablets of Januvia (50 mg and 100 mg) is priced at Rs 300 while Glenmark's version costs around 30 per cent less.

PTI