Delhi High Court on Wednesday posted for April 12 an appeal filed by US pharmaceuticals major Merck Sharp and Dohme against the single judge bench order refusing to restrain Indian firm Glenmark from manufacturing and selling anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met.
A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur took the plea of US pharma major on record and posted it for hearing before another bench on April 12.
The American firm is involved in a patent row with Mumbai-based Glenmark pharmaceuticals which has recently come out with the anti-diabetes medicines in alleged violation of intellectual property rights used in the drugs by the multinational company.
Earlier, a single judge bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, in an interim order, had refused to restrain the Indian company from manufacturing and selling its anti- diabetes medicines.
"I do not find the plaintiff to have made out a case for grant of interim relief.
"The application is accordingly dismissed but with a direction to the defendant (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals) to diligently maintain accounts of the manufacturing/production and sales of the infringing products and to file the same before this court with advance copy to the counsel for the plaintiff," Justice Endlaw had said.
The court, which has kept the main petition of the US firm pending for filing of evidence and other subsequent legal proceedings before its joint registrar on July 16, however, had said, "Needless to state that any observation contained herein shall not have any bearing on the final decision of the matter."
The court's order had come on the US firm's plea alleging that the Indian pharma company has violated its IPR over its anti-diabetes medicines, Januvia and Janumet, by coming in the market with their own drugs containing the same salts.
The American company has sought the court's order to restrain the Mumbai-based firm from manufacturing and selling drugs Zita and Zita-Met for treatment of Type-2 diabetes. It has said it had invented 'Sitagliptin' salt, used in the drugs and has patent over the molecule.
However, the Indian firm has said it has used 'Sitagliptin Phosphate' in its anti-diabetes drugs, Zita and Zita-Met, and the US firm has no patent right over this salt.
Sitagliptin Phosphate has been a distinct product from Sitagliptin and due to this, the US firm had obtained separate patent for Sitagliptin Phosphate in the US, the Indian firm has said.
MSD first applied for separate patent for Sitagliptin Phosphate in India and later abandoned it, it has said.
The American firm has also said anti-diabetes drug Januvia is not costly at Rs 43 a pill which is roughly 1/5th of its price in the US. According to market sources, Glenmark's version costs around 30 per cent less.