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Experts discuss IPR and its role in industry’s growth trajectory at IPC 2018

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Stress on the need to bring innovation in the IPR framework

The first day of IPC 2018 comprised several interesting knowledge sharing sessions of which one was on building and protecting intellectual property in pharma for continued progress. In a session, moderated by Shirish Dabhade, Ex- assistant commissioner, FDA Maharashtra and co-chaired by Nitin Deore, Assistant Commissioner, FDA Maharashtra, experts in IPR shared their views and insights to update the industry and the academia about this sphere.

Dr Gopakumar Nair, an IP expert outlined the strategies for larger Indian pharma companies to become a preferred super generics and value added generics supplier to the world. He also emphasised on need for creating technology partnerships to boost growth. He also explained the process of patent claims drafting and its benefits to individual companies and the Indian pharma industry. He also elaborated on different types of patents and their filling processes.

Dr Pearl Sobti, Senior Manager intellectual property, Sun Pharma Industries spoke on the road ahead for pharma and explained how IP will play a crucial role in its progress. She shared examples of Lipitor and Humira Pen and explained the complexities in small to bigger sized molecules. She also highlighted how Indian generic companies have been instrumental in bringing dynamic changes in the generics space at phase 1 and phase 2.

Moving forward, she also explained what is patentable in biologics in the US and their eligibility criteria. Giving an update about biosimilars in India, she informed that the first biosimilar was approved in 2000. Approximately 70 biosimilar products have been approved in India and more than 25 have been developed since 2000 and the numbers are growing significantly.

Dr Guru Nagraj, Patent Attorney, Delhi spoke on the roadmap for growth through protective innovation. In his presentation he presented factors that can not be ignored, informed about creative enforcement strategies by IP owning pharma companies and ways of extending patent expiry.

He also informed about a few pharma entities from India who have been following the number game in filing patent applications. He laid stress on the point that companies should focus on getting approval from the applications and moving them to the commercialisation phase. He also shared insights on the role of litigation.

Surbhi Sharma, Senior Patent Associate at ipfeathers touched upon the pre-TRIPS scenario and its impact on the industry. Comparing the earlier and current situations, she highlighted that during the pre-TRIPS regime the industry was self-reliant whereas in post-TRIPS Indian pharma companies took a step in setting up of research facilities and innovative research programmes.

Commenting on the current scenario she briefed about the changes occurring in global policies. In her presentation, she mentioned that there are changes in the business models of the pharma industry and the focus is on becoming self reliant, entrepreneurship and research associated activities.

Thus, it was a very interesting discussion on the different facets of IPR and its role in India Pharma Inc success in future.

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