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Glenmark wins patent row but says has no plans to launch product

While Glenmark is not commenting, the talk in the market is that the story in this case goes back to 2008 when Glenmark had plans to launch the product and, anticipating that Abbott will be granted the patent, filed for a pre-grant opposition with the Indian patent office.

E. Kumar Sharma | January 9, 2015 | Updated 17:34 IST
Glenmark wins patent row but says has no plans to launch product

The excitement was arguably more in the media than in the company or the analysts tracking it.

We are talking here of the Patent battle that the Indian pharma company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has just won against a company of the US firm Abbott (it is a separate company today called AbbVie but was prior to January 1, 2013, part of Abbott).

In a clarification to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday, January 7th, Glenmark informed the exchange that while it had indeed won the patent case, it had "no plans in the near future to launch this product in India" and hence did not "consider the same as material, requiring disclosure under Clause 36 of the listing agreement."  

While Glenmark is not commenting, the talk in the market is that the story in this case goes back to 2008 when Glenmark had plans to launch the product and, anticipating that Abbott will be granted the patent, filed for a pre-grant opposition with the Indian patent office.

However, since the innovator did not commercially exploit the patent in India, as per Indian law the patent would not be valid and any company could launch a generic version (or a biosimilar in this case, since this is a biotech product) and in this case this happened around 2012.

But by then, Glenmark, which had yet to get the regulatory go ahead, was apparently not ready with the product. Instead, Zydus Cadila, which was working on this biosimilar for several years, was able to launch it on December 9th, 2014.

It is therefore with good reason that analysts looking at the development also confirmed that it will not make any material difference to Glenmark.

While the company is not commenting further or giving reasons, analysts see little incentive for Glenmark, considering Zydus Cadila's launch, becoming the first company in India to launch this biosimilar for a drug (Adalimumab) used in the treatment of arthritis and some other auto immune disorders.

Zydus Cadila had said its biosimilar will impact 12 million people suffering from these ailments in India.

Also, there is no word on this case from Abbott partly perhaps because it is not strictly Abbott but is AbbVie, which was split out of Abbott in 2013.

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