Thursday, April 10, 2014

Natco moves to oppose Gilead hepatitis C drug patent in India

Natco moves to oppose Gilead hepatitis C drug patent in India

(Reuters) - India's Natco Pharma Ltd has formally asked the Indian patent office to deny U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc's breakthrough hepatitis C drug Sovaldi a patent in India, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

If successful, the move could clear the way for the Indian company to launch a generic version of the drug.

Natco has filed a so-called "pre-grant opposition" with India's Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks, said the source, who declined to be named because the information was not public yet.

Reuters could not immediately obtain a copy of the filing.

Natco Chief Executive Rajeev Nannapaneni declined to comment. Officials at the Indian patent department in Mumbai were not immediately available for comment.

India's patent laws allow a third party to dispute the validity of a pending patent application. Natco has opposed the patent on the grounds that Sovaldi is not "inventive" enough, the source said.

Foster City, California,-based Gilead aims to license Sovaldi to three or four Indian generic manufacturers to allow sale of the medicine at lower prices in some 60 developing nations including India.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in MUMBAI; Editing by Tony Munroe)


  1. I Support Gilead patent in India because at least it is providing sofosbuvir at much cheaper rate as compared to the price in US. At least people who are covered through insurance may be able to get drug early. This plea against patent will delay the drug delivery to people who are in urgent need. Will Natco Chief Executive Rajeev Nannapaneni take resposibility for death of peoples who will be deprived from treatment due to unnecessary delay. Why people who are covered under insurance are deprived from treatment . Mr Rajeev Nannapaneni is only fighting for people who are not insured. It is the fault of non insured people who had not insured themselves.

  2. Mr RAJEEV NANNAPANENI if you have guts and courage then why don't you develop a new drug through research at your own pharma company (NATCO Pharma Ltd.). May be you are opposing this patent because you could not able to struck a deal with Gilead Sciences. If not able to do so then you have no right to oppose this patent application from Gilead and depriving people of India from the treatment.