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Novartis Challenge To Another India Gleevec Patent Request Comes To Light (India)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Novartis has filed another challenge to India's patent rejections, this time for a second version of its Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) drug to fight blood cancer. An opposition filing by Indian company Okasa brought to light an apparent 2004 challenge by Novartis for rejection of its alpha crystal form of the drug. Okasa's attorney called the Novartis filing for the alpha version, already available in generic form by India's Cipla, "yet another frivolous patenting attempt" by the Swiss firm. The Chennai patent office had scheduled two hearings on the Okasa filing, but Novartis asked for adjournments in both cases, the lawyer said. A Novartis application for a patent on a beta version also was rejected by the Chennai patent office. (Click here for more

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