Roche Sues In­tas Pharma Over Mircera Anaemia Drug Patent

Swiss co seeks re­straint or­der against In­tas’ Erypeg used to treat anaemia in kid­ney dis­or­der

The Economic Times - - Sports & Economy - Vikas.Dan­dekar@ times­group.com

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.

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