Mumbai: Drug maker Natco on Monday said that the Patent Office has upheld the firm’s opposition to an application of Yeda Research and Development Company for patenting a generic version of a product of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
“The Patent Office (at New Delhi) agreed with the company’s arguments and refused to grant the application because of “obviousness and lack of inventiveness” over the prior art,” Natco said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The patent application for Glatiramer Acetate was submitted before the Indian Patent Office by Yeda Research and Development Company, which licensed the product to Teva.
Glatiramer Acetate, marketed in pre-filled syringes, is used in decreasing the frequency of relapses in patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RR MS).
Natco had opposed the patent application on the grounds that it was obvious over the prior art.
“Natco has successfully commercialized its Glatiramer Acetate in India and the Ukraine,” it said.
Natco Pharma’s company secretary Adi Narayana said the company has been selling this drug in Indian market at a price of Rs1000 for a vial, while Teva’s drug costs around Rs3000 a vial.
”So a wrong patent grant to Teva’s application could have triggered a serious issue of access for medicine as well in India.”
Kolkata-based law firm S Majumdar and Co represented Natco for opposing the application at the Delhi patent office.
Teva’s country head in Lazer Bezdin could not be contacted for comments as he is travelling.