Japanese company loses diabetes drug patent bid

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A multinational drug firm’s efforts to claim monopoly rights on a new diabetes drug, teneligliptin, have been thwarted, with the patent office rejecting the application of Japan’s Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation. If the application was cleared, it would have blocked affordable versions of the anti-diabetes medicine launched recently by domestic companies, increasing treatment costs for diabetics.

The Kolkata Patent Office, on an opposition filed by domestic drug firm Lupin, refused the patent application on grounds that it was “obvious, and lacking inventive step”. The application was rejected before the grant of the patent.

Teneligliptin, a third-generation new oral anti-diabetic drug, was first launched by Glenmark in June, and recently by a host of companies, including Zydus Cadila. Lupin, which filed the pre-grant opposition to the Japanese firm, is marketing linagliptin, also from the gliptin (DPP-4 inhibitors) family, with Boehringer Ingelheim.

Domestic companies are pinning their hopes on the “breakthrough” drug, teneligliptin, after Glenmark lost the case on Sitagliptin (from the same class) against MNC firm, MSD in the Delhi high court recently. While the applicant has no patent protection for the molecule teneligliptin in India, the company sought it on a salt form of the compound, which would have blocked generic versions of the drug.

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