SC rejects patent protection for Novartis cancer drug

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday dismissed Swiss pharmaceutical chain Novartis AG’s petition seeking patent protection for its anti-cancer drug, Glivec (Imatinib mesylate).

The apex court bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai dismissed with cost Novartis’ plea challenging the Intellectual Property Appellate Board’s decision declining the plea for patent of the drug that is used in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia and malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

The patent right for the drug was denied to Novartis in 2006 by the Chennai-based Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

The legal battle for the patent of the blood cancer drug is being closely watched by international pharmaceutical firms. Novartis had been fighting a prolonged legal case for the patent of Glivec, a cost effective drug.

Winning such a patent would have barred Indian firms from manufacturing generic drugs.

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