Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG filed a patent infringement suit in India against Biocon Ltd. regarding its patent covering the diabetes drug vildagliptin, which is sold under the trade name Galvus. According to The Hindu Business Line, Galvus brought in $1.2 billion from global sales last year. In a statement, Biocon asserted it does not sell any form of that drug in India.
"There is no impact on our immediate plans for this product," Biocon said in its statement, though it gave no indication on whether it intended to launch a similar drug.
Novartis is seeking an injunction against Biocon to stop the company launching a generic version of the drug. A March 28 hearing ended in Delhi's High Court ordering Biocon not to manufacture, sell or export vildagliptin until the next hearing.
"A robust and predictable intellectual property system is an essential pillar of an innovative life science industry," Novartis wrote.
This is the second intellectual property lawsuit in which Novartis has been involved over Galvus in India, according to The Indian Express. On March 5, the Delhi High Court granted a preliminary injunction against drugmaker Wockhardt for infringement of the basic compound patent on vildagliptin, Novartis said. In turn, Wockhardt challenged the validity of the patent before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). That case is still ongoing.