[Ip-health] Patent on Roche Hepatitis C drug revoked

Gopa Kumar kumargopakm at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 07:35:53 PDT 2012

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Patent on Roche Hepatitis C drug revokedP.T. Jyothi Datta
Mumbai, Nov 2:

In a landmark development, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board has
revoked the patent on Roche’s pegylated interferon alfa-2a. The drug is
used to treat Hepatitis C and is marketed by Roche under the brandname

This is the first medicine on which a patent was granted in the country,
after the Indian Patents Act was amended in 2005, to honour product patents.

In a development on Friday, the IPAB allowed the appeal filed by Sankalp
Rehabilitation Trust, represented by Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, and
set aside the patent granted to Roche in India on Pegasys.

Sankalp Director Eldred Tellis confirmed the development. Roche
representatives were not reachable.

*Several firsts*

The case is significant as it is the country’s first post-grant opposition.

Non-government organisation Sankalp had opposed the patent granted to the
multinational drug maker Roche on pegylated interferon.

Sankalp had contested the patent on the grounds that the pegylation process
was known. The process helps the drug stay longer in the blood, benefiting
the patient as it reduces the frequency of injections to be taken to just
one a week, as opposed to three earlier.

The case traverses new ground, also since the drug is a biological product
(from a natural source) — not chemically made like a regular allopathic

*Amended Patents Act*

Lawyers further explain that the case clarifies whether an NGO can file an
opposition after a patent was granted, as the amended Patents Act allows
only an interested party to file a post-grant opposition. In the case of
opposition before a patent is granted, the amended law allows anyone to
file a pre-grant opposition.

Sankalp’s counsel argued that they were interested party, as they
represented patients. Price is also an important feature in such cases, a
lawyer observed, as the patented drug is more expensive than its
generically-similar versions.

jyothi.datta at thehindu.co.in

Keywords: Roche<http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/patent-on-roche-hepatitis-c-drug-revoked/article4057999.ece?homepage=true&css=print#>
, Pegasys<http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/patent-on-roche-hepatitis-c-drug-revoked/article4057999.ece?homepage=true&css=print#>
, Hepatitis C drug<http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/patent-on-roche-hepatitis-c-drug-revoked/article4057999.ece?homepage=true&css=print#>
, patent ruling on
, Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS
, Sankalp Rehabilitation

Printable version | Nov 2, 2012 8:04:20 PM |
The Hindu Business Line

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