Patent applicants seem to be facing a conflicting approval environment in India. The Delhi High Court recently turned down a plea by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS, New York) to stop Ranbaxy Laboratories (Gurgaon, Haryana) from selling the generic version of its patented anti-hepatitis B drug Baraclude (entecavir), Enteca, in India. The landmark decision is viewed by industry experts as helping other domestic Indian companies such as Ahmedabad's Cadita and Hyderbad's Natco pursue the development and manufacture of generic drugs.
At the same time, the Madras High Court restrained Matrix Laboratories (Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh) from selling the generic version (Tarceva) of Roche's (Basel, Switzerland) cancer drug, Tarceva (erlotinib hydrochloride).
Although several Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers have won legal disputes with global firms over patents, it remains unclear whether Indian courts and governmental bodies are ruling in favor of domestic players.
Many recent court decisions have sided with Indian companies. Cipla (Mumbai) won a patent infringement case against Bayer (Leverkusen, Germany) regarding its kidney cancer drug, Nexavar (sorafenib). Ideal Cures, an excipient manufacturing company based in Mumbai, won a patent revocation case against Colorcon (Harleysville, PA). And Novartis (Basel) continues to fight for its claim on its cancer drug Gleevec (imatinib mesytate) in India's Supreme Court after being challenged by Cipla...