August 3, 2013

Tykerb Drug patent revoked in India

Breast cancer drug - Tykerb, Patent cancelled in India by Intellectual Property Appellate Board - Chennai.
The drug is patented by British drug major GlaxoSmithKline Pharma.

Tykerb, one of the most widely prescribed breast cancer treatments in India used to treat advanced forms of the disease, is a newer version of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) original anti-breast cancer drug lapatinib.

Why patent revoked?
Reasons for revoking patent:
Tykerb is the salt form of Lapatinib compound that is sold in the country.
The Board has upheld the patent for Lapatinib compound, which is the active ingredient in Tykerb, citing innovative merit.
The drug is  only modifications of previously existing chemicals, and thus are hard to consider new molecular entities. 
Previously this year Supreme Court in April had rejected a patent plea from Novartis AG’s cancer drug Glivec, saying it was an amended version of a known molecule called Imatinib.

Impact of such moves:
 Many speculate that the government is doing this so that the drugs will be cheap, and generics will be widely available for the country's over one billion citizens.
On the other end the long-term problem for this and other cases like it is that large companies will not want to develop drugs and spend billions to create treatments if their patent protection can be revoked so easily.
India is an attractive market for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies because of the growing middle class and hundreds of millions of potential customers for their medications.


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