India's High Court Blocks Novartis Patent, Boosting Generics

Law360, New York (April 1, 2013, 4:49 PM EDT) -- India’s highest court on Monday shot down Novartis AG’s bid to patent blockbuster cancer drug Glivec after finding it’s highly similar to an old version of the medication, a decision that threatens the profitability of brand-name drugs and buttresses the nation’s fast-growing generics industry.

The court’s decision, which found that a new form of Glivec was no more effective than an earlier version of imatinib mesylate, suggests India remains a challenging market for innovator companies despite legislative efforts at lowering the bar for patentability.

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