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Cipla moves HC against restraint on its Indacaterol-based drug

Cipla on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging its order temporarily restraining it from manufacturing or selling any drug containing the chemical Indacaterol, used for treating chronic respiratory disease, till it obtains a compulsory license for the medicine.

New Delhi: Cipla on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging its order temporarily restraining it from manufacturing or selling any drug containing the chemical Indacaterol, used for treating chronic respiratory disease, till it obtains a compulsory license for the medicine.

The matter was mentioned before a bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva who directed that the plea be listed before the appropriate bench tomorrow.

The petition which has been settled by senior advocate Pratibha Singh was mentioned before the bench by advocate Bitika Sharma.

Cipla has challenged the high court's single judge order of January 9, passed on a plea of Switzerland-based Novartis AG which holds a patent for the Indacaterol maleate salt as well as the manufacturing process for the drug.

Novartis in its interim application had sought to restrain Cipla from selling its product during pendency of the patent infringement suit filed by the Swiss pharma firm.

The court on January 9 in its interim order had restrained Cipla from manufacturing its drug sold under the name of "Indaflo", but allowed it to sell the stock remaining with it.

It had said the restraint on Cipla would remain till its application for compulsory license was decided by the relevant authority.

It had asked Cipla to apply for the license within two weeks of the order, if not already done so, and had directed the relevant authority to decide the same within six months of receiving the application.

Novartis has been selling the medicine in India as an inhalation powder and inhaler under the trademark name of "Onbrez" through its licencee Lupin Ltd, since 2010.

Cipla had last year started manufacture and sale of the Indacaterol powder under the name "Unibrez".

It had later changed the name of its product to "Indaflo" pursuant to a November 2014 order of the high court on a trademark infringement plea by Novartis.

In its petition on patent infringement, Novartis sought to permanently restrain Cipla from manufacturing Indacaterol in any form and selling it in India.

It had also sought damages and payment for infringing the patented pharmaceutical product.

Cipla had taken the stand that the medicine sold by Novartis was too expensive and sold only to government hospitals and therefore not easily available to the public.

It had also given a representation to the Centre to revoke the exclusive patent rights granted to Novartis, claiming that the pharma firm was not working the patent in India.

Novartis had on its part argued it is not obligated to manufacture the drug in India.

It had also said that Cipla was "trying to commercialise" the drug and use the formula which had been developed by Novartis after spending huge funds on research.

From Zee News

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