MUMBAI, Dec 11 (Reuters) - India has revoked a patent
granted to an asthma drug made by Schering Corp, later bought by
U.S.-based Merck & Co, citing lack of invention, after
Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd challenged an earlier
The move is the latest in a series of patent cancellations
by India, where generic medicines account for more than 90
percent of drug sales by value and whose huge potential to
western drugmakers is undermined by intellectual property
Earlier this year, India revoked Pfizer Inc's
patent on cancer drug Sutent, while an Indian patents
appeal board overturned Roche Holding AG's patent on
hepatitis C drug Pegasys.
The aerosol suspension formulation of the asthma drug, which
won an Indian patent last year, combines three molecules:
mometasone furoate, formoterol and heptaflouropropane. It was
not immediately clear if Merck markets this drug under a
specific brand name in India.
T.V. Madhusudhan, India's assistant controller of patents
and design, said the patent-holder did not show an "inventive
step" for the drug, either on individual parameters or in its
The ruling was posted on Tuesday on the website of the
Indian patents office.
A similar asthma treatment, Dulera, lost its Indian patent
held by Novartis AG in 2010.
Officials at Merck could not immediately be reached for
comment by Reuters.