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BAYER, Germany’s largest drug maker, failed to get a stay against Cipla from seeking permission to launch the European company’s copycat of cancer treating drug, Nexavar, in India. The two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court that refused the stay is set to hear the case on October 6. Cipla cannot launch the drug without the court’s approval.

   Bayer had asked the court to stay the nation’s largest by sales drug-maker from selling Soranib, the generic version of its Nexavar after it sought the Drug Controller General of India’s (DGCI) permission for the same. Bayer maintains it was granted patent for Nexavar in March 2008 in India which gives it an exclusive marketing rights for 20 years. Bayer believes it can generate peak worldwide sales of € 2 billion a year from the drug, Reuters had reported.
   The dispute is over whether DGCI can give approvals to sell drugs with patent granted by an independent patent office.

   The Delhi HC last month said the DGCI can give marketing approval to Cipla to sell Soranib, said Pratibha Patil of Singh & Singh, the Delhi-based law firm representing Cipla. But Cipla must get the Delhi HC’s approval before beginning to sell the drug, she said.
Indian companies can seek approval to sell a patented drug, but face penalty if found in violation of patent by a court.

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