New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre, pharma major Cipla, Ranbaxy Lab, Hetero Drugs, Natco Pharma and others on a petition filed by Swiss firm Novartis AG challenging the denial of patent for its blood cancer drug Glivec in beta crystal form.
A Bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari sought replies
from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Comptroller
General of Patent and Design, the Cancer Patient Aid
Association and the four pharma companies.
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in
July rejected Novartis` appeal against a Chennai patent
office`s decision to deny patent.
The patent was denied based on several grounds,
including Sections 3(d) and 3(b) of the Indian Patent Law.
Section 3(d) of the Patent Law restricts patents for
already known drugs unless the new claims are superior in
terms of efficacy. Section 3(b) restricts patents for products
that are against public interest and do not demonstrate
enhanced efficacy over existing products.
Novartis had obtained an exclusive marketing right
(generic versions of Glivec were stopped from being made) in
2003 for the drug based on its patent application.
While the Swiss firm had challenged the patent office`s
verdict in the Madras High Court, its appeals were transferred
to IPAB, which held in July that Glivec did not meet the
requirement of increased therapeutic efficacy.