VEPACHEDU EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
(501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation)
Lessons for IP
Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patents
Ranbaxy Wins by Invalidating
an Improper Claim
Ranbaxy announced on 29th that a Norwegian court handed
down a favorable decision for Ranbaxy in its case against Pfizer, involving
two patents on atorvastatin in Norway. Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering
drug which is marketed by Pfizer as Lipitor(R). The Oslo City Court
sided with Ranbaxy by finding non-infringement of two of Pfizer's Norwegian
patents (No. 177,566 and No. 180,199) covering particular intermediate compounds.
Earlier, in November 2005, the Norwegian Court had found Ranbaxy's atorvastatin
product not to infringe one of Pfizer's process patents (No. 309,322) but
to infringe another of Pfizer's patents (No. 177,706) covering a particular
intermediate compound. Ranbaxy has already appealed to the Norwegian Court
of Appeals against the negative judgment on the one remaining intermediate
Who is an Employee?
WTO on GMO
Ranbaxy on a Buying
An environmental group said bottles of Coca-Cola Co.
and PepsiCo Inc. soft drinks in India still contained traces of pesticides,
highlighting weak food safety laws in the country. The Indian Soft Drink
Manufacturers Association, of which PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are members, said
the soft drinks were safe to consume.
Morning After Pill
Suven and Eli Lilly & Co Tie Up
Hyderabad-based Suven Life Sciences has signed an agreement with US-based Eli Lilly and Company to collaborate on pre-clinical research of molecules in the therapeutic area of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. As per the agreement, Suven will receive milestone payments from Lilly and potentially downstream payments if the identified candidates are selected by Lilly for further pre-clinical research and development. The company's Vice Chairman and CEO Venkat Jasti said this was Suven's first true research collaboration with a global pharmaceutical company and would help it realize the next step of its strategic vision. According to Ramakrishna Nirogi, vice president (drug discovery) of Suven, scientists from both parties would work together in a team with the goal of identifying potent, oral compounds that selectively modulate the specified G-Protein coupled receptor for the target CNS disease. For an interview: http://www.rediff.com/money/2006/aug/29eli.htm
Dr. Reddy's Labs
Dr. Reddy's Labs this month won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for finasteride tablets, which is the generic equivalent of Merck's Proscar pills to treat enlarged prostate. The generic drug maker will sell $250 million-$300 million in American Depository Receipts (ADRs) in October or November to help fund this year's $570 million buyout of Germany's Betapharm, sources said.
Ocimum Biosolutions announced that it has been selected as a Red Herring 100 Asia Winner for 2006. The editorial board of Red Herring, which received about 600 submissions from companies throughout Asia, selected Ocimum as one Asia's hottest technology startups after a stringent application review process of evaluating business models, analyzing profitability forecasts, assessing management teams and examining technology of the contending companies. Red Herring Asia covers markets such as Japan, South Korea, China, India, Singapore and Australia.
Strides Arcolab Ltd.
India's Strides Arcolab Ltd. said it had received tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its HIV drug nevirapine in tablet forms. This is the company's first abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) approval. This application was reviewed under the expedited review provisions of the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) program. Strides also said U.S.-based Gilead Sciences Inc. had agreed to license generic versions of its AIDS drugs Viread and Truvada to the Indian firm. The company is also partnering with the Clinton Foundation to ensure availability of affordable quality generic ARVs in least developed countries.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. reported that company scientists have successfully generated human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) using an approach that does not harm embryos. The technique is reported in an article appearing online (ahead of print) in the journal Nature. The article describes a method for deriving stem cells from human blastomeres with a single-cell biopsy technique called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This technique is used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics to assess the genetic health of preimplantation embryos. The cell lines produced using this technique appear to be identical to hES cell lines derived from later-stage embryos using techniques that destroy the embryo's developmental potential. ACT had previously reported the successful use of a similar technique in mice in Nature in October 2005.
Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (BIMR) and Illumina Inc., in collaboration with stem cell researchers around the world, have found that the DNA of human embryonic stem cells is chemically modified in a characteristic, predictable pattern. This pattern distinguishes human embryonic stem cells from normal adult cells and cell lines, including cancer cells. The study, which appeared online in Genome Research, should help researchers understand how epigenetic factors contribute to self-renewal and developmental pluripotence, unique characteristics of human embryonic stem cells that may one day allow them to be used to replace diseased or damaged cells with healthy ones in a process called therapeutic cloning.
Goats produce Human Milk
Human breast milk contains valuable antibacterial enzymes that milk from dairy animals did not until now. Researchers report that transgenic goats can successfully produce milk containing the enzyme Lysozyme, and that this milk exhibits an antibacterial effect when fed to young goats and pigs. The researchers hope that in the future, enhanced nonhuman milk will give an immune boost to children in the developing world where diarrhea takes more than two million lives each year. Lysozyme destroys harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli by tearing open the cell wall, causing its insides to leak out. The enzyme is found in the milk, saliva and tears of all animals, but human breast milk contains about 3,000 times more than goat’s milk. By injecting the human gene for lysozyme production into the gene in goats that controls mammary production, researchers at the University of California, Davis, created transgenic goats that produce milk with 68 percent as much lysozyme as human milk.
New Airport of Mumbai
India's commercial capital may soon get a second international airport. After a six-month study, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations body, in August approved a scheme to build a new airport on 1,140 hectares in New Mumbai, across the harbour from the island city. If all goes according to plan, the new terminals could be ready by 2012 at an estimated cost of 35 billion rupees ($755m). Plans include two spacious runways and a large cargo complex. Travellers would reach the airport via a 25-minute hovercraft journey or a new trans-harbour roadway.
Source: The primary sources cited above, BBC News, New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News, Bayarea.com, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, womenfitness.net etc.
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