The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has revoked the patent granted to British drug major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharma for Tykerb, its breast cancer drug. However, the IPAB has upheld the patent granted on the original compound, or active pharmaceutical ingredient, lapatinib, citing innovative merit. Tykerb is the salt form of lapatinib sold in India.
GSK Pharma India said the board’s ruling was a mixed bag for the company. “We are, however, disappointed that the IPAB has revoked our later expiring patent for the lapatinib ditosylate salt,” company’s spokesperson said in an email response. “This latter ruling only relates to the lapatinib ditosylate salt patent in India and does not affect our basic patent for Tykerb.”
GSK, which had cut prices of Tykerb by a third in the country as part of a flexible pricing programme, will continue to take steps to ensure that Tykerb is available to women with breast cancer.
The Supreme Court in April rejected a patent for Novartis cancer drug Glivec, saying it was an amended version of a known molecule called imatinib, setting the precedent for more such cases in the country.