) recently suffered a setback when the Indian Supreme Court
denied patent for the company's oncology drug, Glivec (imatinib
mesylate) under the Indian patent law.
Novartis filed the case to seek a patent for Glivec. It
also sought clarification on certain aspects of the patent law.
Novartis has never been granted an original patent for Glivec in
The Supreme Court in India denied Novartis' appeal challenging
the rejection of a patent for Glivec. The ruling by the Indian
Supreme Court will discourage further innovative drug discovery
by Novartis in India.
We remind investors that in 2009, Novartis filed a Special
Leave Petition with the Indian Supreme Court thereby challenging
the denial of the Glivec beta crystal form patent on two grounds,
based on Sections 3(d) and 3(b) of the Indian patent law.
We note that Glivec is indicated for some forms of chronic
myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors
(GIST). Launched in 2001, Glivec is now patented in almost 40
countries including China, Russia and Taiwan.
Glivec is one of the leading selling oncology drugs in
Novartis' portfolio. Glivec reported sales of $4.7 billion in
2012, up 4% year over year driven by solid demand for treating
adults suffering from metastatic and/or unresectable KIT+
gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
The year-over-year sales growth was also driven by Glivec's
use as an adjuvant treatment for certain adult patients following
resection of KIT+ GIST and as a targeted therapy for Philadelphia
chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML).
Novartis carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Pharma companies that
currently look better-positioned include
). All three are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.
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