The Indian Patent Office in a verdict on July 1, 2015, for the second time, rejected Swiss drug maker Roche’s patent claims on Valganciclovir or Valcyte, used to treat an eye infection, which commonly affects patients suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The decision was made mainly on grounds of “obviousness” and Sec 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act, which refutes patent claims to additional innovations in the absence of corroboration for therapeutically momentous significant effectiveness.
A spokesperson from Roche, India informed the media that the company is taking into account the alternatives based on the latest decision on the drug and will act in response at the earliest.
Earlier in 2010, the patent authority had given permission to certain Indian drug makers including Cipla, Matrix (presently named as Mylan) and Ranbaxy to formulate generic versions of Roche’s Valcyte. At that time, Roche had placed a petition in front of Intellectual Property Appellate Board stating novelty of its invention and also affirmed that the invention is not based on any prior art or associated to an already acknowledged compound, Aciclovir.