Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

India revokes Pfizer's patent on Sutent

Loses patent protection for kidney cancer drug after Cipla and Natco challenge

Pfizer has become the latest Western drugmaker to fall foul of India's increasingly contentious intellectual property (IP) environment, losing patent protection for its kidney cancer drug Sutent.

The country's Patent Office revoked the basic patent for Sutent (sunitinib malate) on the grounds that it did not include an inventive step, backing the position taken up by Indian drugmakers Cipla and Natco Pharma in a legal challenge to Pfizer's IP.

Cipla had argued that the inventiveness of Pfizer's patent was compromised by "structural obviousness", in other words the compound's structure could have been deduced from similar drugs already covered by earlier patents.

Pfizer said immediately it would lodge an appeal against the Patent Office's decision, which is the third defeat for a major pharma company in India in as many weeks, all involving widely-used cancer drugs.

The company sells its Sutent product for 1.96 lakh (about $3,800) for a 45-day course, and Cipla says it will make its Sunitib version available at a 10 per cent discount, according to a LiveMint report.

Last month, Bayer failed in a bid to overturn a compulsory license which removed patent protection for its Nexavar (sorafenib) cancer drug, allowing a cut-price competitor from Natco to enter the market. 

Just a few days before the Nexavar verdict Roche lost a four-year legal dispute with Cipla over patent rights to Tarceva (erlotinib), while Novartis is still in the throes of a long-running legal dispute as it tries to defend blockbuster cancer drug Glivec (imatinib) and is expecting a verdict before the end of this year.

Pfizer had already protected Sutent from a compulsory license challenge in 2008, a year after the company was awarded its patent and launched the product, and in an interview with the Business Standard said the Patent Office's latest action "raised concerns over India's commitment to protect intellectual property".

5th October 2012

From: PME

Share

Tags

Related Hub content

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
Health4Brands

At H4B, we are an energetic new team with fresh ideas, but we have over 275 years of combined experience...

Latest intelligence

Healthy narratives?
In medical market research we see that most physicians are not early adopters, preferring to wait for their colleagues to adopt new medicines and practices before doing so themselves. There...
Allergies – Always a story
Saycomms looks into the seasonal trend of allergies stories in the media and the communication campaigns launched in UK in 2015....
When is sun safety doing more harm than good?
Say Communications analyses the impact of sun safety campaigns in the news and on consumers...

Infographics