What’s happening: An update on HIV drugs in India

1 Dec 2007

Pfizer granted patent for important HIV therapy in India

Maraviroc has been granted a patent in India under Patent No. 204132. Originally filed for under Application no. 885/BOM/1999 titled ‘CCR5 Modulators’, it was published as granted in the Official Journal of the Patent Office of 8 June 2007.

Interestingly, the corresponding application at the European Patent Office (EPO), published as EP 1140085, is still under examination because of objections raised by the Office. The outstanding objections against EP1140085 are that the application does not sufficiently describe the invention, does not solve the problem claimed and lacks inventive step in the light of prior art.

It would be useful to compare the examination report of the Bombay Patent Office, which granted the patent in India, with the EPO’s, but alas s144 of the Indian Patents Act does not allow the reports of examiners to be made public, a policy that must change sooner than later. Neverthless, as is permitted in India, ‘any person interested’ can oppose Granted Patent No. 204132 within one year of the date of publication of grant i.e 7 June 2008.

Approved by the FDA in August 2007, Maraviroc, also known by the brand name Selzentry ( or Celsentri outside of the U.S) is being positioned as an important salvage therapy for patients that are not responding to other HIV drugs.

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