Roche Sues Intas Pharma Over Mircera Anaemia Drug Patent
Swiss co seeks restraint order against Intas’ Erypeg used to treat anaemia in kidney disorder
Mumbai: Swiss biotechnology giant Roche has sued Ahmedabad-based drug maker Intas Pharmaceuticals in Delhi High Court, alleging infringement of its patent rights over Mircera, an injectable brand used to treat patients with anaemia in chronic kidney-related ailments.
Roche has sought an injunction order against the brand launched by Intas, but no decision has been taken yet, people familiar with the matter in legal circles said. Roche had close to $500 million in global sales for its Mircera brand, reports suggest.
Intas confirmed to ET about the Mircera case, adding it is contending a non-infringing stand on its product. “We also have strong grounds of invalidation for the enforced patent,” it noted in response to queries from ET. Roche officials did not comment, saying the case is sub-judice.Intas launched its product under the brand name Erypeg in India at prices to re- tailer ranging from .₹ 4,080 to .₹ 8,200, depending on the strength of the injection. Roche’s product is priced between .₹ 5285 and .₹ 10,621per injection. It recently raised the prices of Mircera, as seen from the labels by ET, but this could not be verified with the company.
Roche has been embroiled in various patent litigations in India, the prominent being its case against Cipla for Tarceva, the drug brand used to treat lung cancer. Earlier this year, Roche and Glenmark mutually settled their dispute over the same drug. Global drug makers have for long sparred with their Indian counterparts on issues related to patent protection of original brands. On its part, the government has said it is working on a new patent policy that is expected to outline processes to accelerate decisions on disputes related to IP rights.