MUMBAI, April 2 A unit of U.S. drugmaker Merck &
Co sued India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on
Tuesday for infringing its patent on two diabetes drugs.
The action comes a day after Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG
lost a landmark court ruling over patent protection
for its cancer treatment Glivec, a decision widely seen as
boosting India's generic pharmaceuticals business.
Merck's Indian unit, MSD, holds an Indian patent on
sitagliptin, a chemical compound sold under the Januvia and
Although the patent is yet to expire, Mumbai-based Glenmark
confirmed it had launched generic versions of the two drugs.
"Glenmark is a responsible company and has launched the
products after due diligence and research," it said in an
MSD filed its case with the Delhi High Court on Tuesday,
saying it was disappointed with Glenmark's decision to launch
products that directly infringed its intellectual property.
There are about 65 million patients in India being treated
for type 2 diabetes, MSD said.
"We believe our patents for Januvia and Janumet are valid
and enforceable and will vigorously defend them," MSD said in an
email to Reuters.
Januvia costs nearly 1,300 rupees ($23.92) for a month's
dose while Glenmark has offered the drug at a discount of about
30 percent, an industry source said.
Neither company would comment on their prices.