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IPAB turns down AstraZeneca plea for cancer drug patent again

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has again turned down drug firm AstraZeneca's plea for a patent on the lung cancer drug Gefitinib.

BT Online Bureau | November 29, 2012 | Updated 13:32 IST

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has again turned down drug firm AstraZeneca's plea for a patent on the lung cancer drug Gefitinib.

IPAB on November 26 upheld its earlier decision to refuse AstraZeneca a patent claim in 2007, citing lack of invention . Two firms, including Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma, had filed a pre-grant opposition against the patent in 2006.

Reacting on the development, the company said it is disappointed and is evaluating its options.

"We are disappointed by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board's decision. We are confident in the validity of the claims in this patent application and are now evaluating our next steps," AstraZeneca said in a statement.

According to industry sources, the company can appeal against the order.

Shares of AstraZeneca were trading 4.42 per cent lower at Rs 1,496 in afternoon trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Earlier this year, IPAB had rejected a petition of pharma major Bayer Corporation, seeking a stay on an order of the Controller of Patents, granting compulsory licence to Natco Pharma Ltd, a generic drug maker, for a drug used to treat liver and kidney cancer.

On March 9, the Controller of Patents, Mumbai, granted the first-ever compulsory licence to Natco to make sorofenib tosylate, a generic version of Bayer's high-priced anti-cancer drug Nexavar.

Indian patent law allows grant of a compulsory licence to an applicant if the patented drug is not available to the public at a reasonable price.

With inputs from PTI

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