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Domestic pharma major Cipla has received product patents for new forms of two blockbuster drugs—Osemaprazole and Alendronate—from the Indian authorities. While the company’s patent on Osemaprazole is a modified form of Astrazeneca’s blockbuster drug marketed under the brand name Nexium, Alendronate is one of the best-selling drug of Merck sold under the brand name Fosamax. Nexium, the world’s second-largest selling drug, has annual sales of around $5.2 billion while Fosamax recorded sales of $3 billion in 2007. Fosamax’s patent expired in February this year while Nexium’s patent expires in 2014. When contacted, Cipla joint MD Amar Lulla said, “These are novel formulations with a significant thereupatic advantages than though it uses the same chemical. We plan to launch the drug globally.” The company has sought patents globally through an application with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filing. If a company files a patent application with the PCT, its application will automatically go to all TRIPS compliant countries. Cipla also got the patent in India through its PCT application. According to the Indian patent office website, the Mumbai patent office granted in April this year. By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury.
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