Novartis and Wockhardt appear to be crossing horns with each other at the Delhi High Court as well as the IPAB regarding the popular anti-diabetes drug vildagliptin recently. The proceedings before the High Court was an application for injunction filed by Novartis while the IPAB was hearing a revocation petition filed by Wockhardt. The dispute arose as a result of the permission granted to Wokhardt by the drug regulator to manufacture and sell the drug in May 2013.
At the Delhi High Court level, the Court held that Novartis was the patent holder for the drug with the active pharmaceutical ingredient vildagliptin. The patent which was registered in 1999 is valid until 2019 according to the Court. Moreover, the court held that the three conditions for an interim injunction, namely, prima facie case, irreparable loss and balance of convenience were all in favour of Novartis in the instant case and thereby granted an injunction order against Wockhardt.
At the IPAB hearing, the counsel for Wockhardt pleaded for an early hearing of the revocation petition as their license for manufacturing was temporary and as the matter of revocation petition before the IPAB was unrelated to the patent infringement before the High Court. The counsel for Novartis, on the other hand argued that as the Delhi High Court was also hearing matters between the same parties regarding the same drug, it would be best for the IPAB to take up the revocation petition after the completion of the matter before the Delhi High Court in order to avoid multiple views and conflicting decisions. The IPAB bench comprising of Chairman Justice K N Basha and Technical member DPS Parmar granted Wockhardt’s request for an early hearing of the revocation petition as they were of the opinion that Novartis would not be prejudiced by such a step.
This is not the first time such an injunction has been granted preventing generic versions of popular drugs from entering the market. Our report on the ex parte injunction granted against Aprica Pharma regarding the drug Januvia in the suit initiated by Merck can be viewed here.
We will keep you posted as the patent wars intensify!