The Delhi High Court today refused to grant interim relief on a patent row to US pharmaceuticals major Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), which sought a restraint on Indian firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on manufacturing and marketing anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed the interim application of the multinational pharma major that the Mumbai-based firm be restrained from manufacturing and selling the anti-diabetes medicines on the grounds that the salt used in the drugs were not of generic nature.
MSD, in its plea, alleged that the Indian pharma company has violated its intellectual property right (IPR) over its anti-diabetes medicines, Januvia and Janumet, by coming in the market with their own drugs containing the same salts.
The development assumes significance as on Monday the Supreme Court had rejected the plea of Novartis AG for patent protection of its anti-cancer drug Glivec.
The High Court, however, kept the main petition of the US firm pending for filing of evidence and other subsequent legal proceedings before its joint registrar on July 16.
According to market sources, a strip of seven tablets of Januvia (50 mg and 100 mg) is priced at Rs 300 while Glenmark's version costs around 30 per cent less.
Reacting to the order, the US firm expressed disappointment over the decision and said it is considering all options including filing an appeal.
"MSD is extremely disappointed with the decision of denial of injunction by the Delhi High Court against Glenmark for patent violation of our drugs Januvia and Janumet," a company spokesperson said, adding that "MSD is considering all options, including an appeal of the decision".