India's Intas sued by Roche over anemia drug version

Intas
Roche headquarters in Switzerland.

Ahmedabad-based Intas Pharmaceuticals said it will fight a lawsuit by Roche filed in India's Delhi High Court that says the Indian company's anemia drug Erypeg infringes on a patent Roche holds for its Mircera in the country.

The Economic Times said that in a court brief Roche ($RHHBY) contends that the therapy used to treat kidney patients with anemia was a direct copy of Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), which clocked $500 million in global sales last year. Roche has sought an injunction on the Intas version in India.

Intas has however said it will fight the move.

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"We also have strong grounds of invalidation for the enforced patent," Intas told the newspaper in a statement. Roche was not immediately available for comment.

A ruling on the injunction request is pending, the Economic Times said, adding that pricing of the two products shows a sharp gap.

Erypeg costs INR4,080 ($61) to INR8,200 ($123) depending on the injection, while Mircera runs between INR5,285 ($79) and INR10,621 ($160), according to the newspaper.

Indian generic drugmakers regularly challenge multinational patents in the country, although recent cases that saw compulsory license applications withdrawn for Sprycel (dasatinib) and Onglyza (saxagliptin) suggest a higher bar has been set.

- here's the story from the Economic Times

Image courtesy of Intas Corporate Communications

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