Indian Supreme Court Ruling Negatively Affects Innovation

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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." 

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.