Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2013) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) issued the following statement following a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India:
"The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is troubled about the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a lower court ruling that denies a patent on Glivec, Novartis’ innovative leukemia medication.
"The Court held that the Glivec showed no new innovation or invention and therefore did not satisfy the criteria under section 3(d) of the Indian patent act. This is strongly at odds with the determination of patent offices around the world, as Glivec retains a valid patent in more than 40 other countries.
"Furthermore, the trio of researchers behind the development of this drug were awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in medicine, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, in 2009 for their pioneering research.
"BIO is concerned that such a decision will not only affect the availability of innovative life-saving medicines in India, but will also create a negative climate for biotechnology R&D, in India and beyond.
"BIO has been working with the Indian government to create a pro-innovation, collaborative atmosphere for the research and development of life-saving products and technologies, but this decision and other recent actions by the Indian Government and courts make it more difficult to convince our members that India is a good place in which to seek partnerships and do business.
"The ability to patent basic biotech innovations is fundamental to the discovery, research and development and commercialization of new medicines. Without such protections, it will be difficult to spur investment and collaboration in the innovative biopharmaceutical sector in India."