The Indian patent office has refused to entertain an application by US-based pharma major Eli Lilly and company for a patent on an invention regarding a drug compound of kappa opioid receptor, used for the treatment of disorders associated with alcohol dependency. Kappa opioid receptor is a protein which has marked effects on all types of addiction, including cocaine and opiate abuse.
The patent office has raised objections to the claims in the application filed by Eli Lilly, pointing out that the subject matter of invention lacks inventive steps, in the backdrop of prior-art documents available in the public domain.
Though Eli Lilly’s compounds are antagonists of the kappa opioid receptor and are useful for the treatment of disorders associated with alcohol dependency, inventive steps cannot be recognised because the problem of making available the compound had been solved in an obvious manner, the controller of patents office, Mumbai said.
N Ramchander, assistant controller of patents and designs, Mumbai, rejecting the patent application, said the new use of kappa selective opioid antagonist against alcoholic disorder treatment derived from teaching of earlier prior-art document comes under the purview of sub section (d) of section (3) of the Patent Act, 1970 (as amended).
“Therefore, the original and amended claims do not constitute an invention within the meaning of section 2(1) (j) of the Patents Act, 1970 (as amended),” he said.
Eli Lilly’s patent agent, however, submitted that there was no basis provided by the data in the prior-art document, allowing a skilled person in the art to correlate a compound structure to kappa selective opioid receptor antagonism activity.
“Therefore, we are of the view that the there was no teaching, suggestion or data in the prior-art document which establishes that the compound can afford to be selective kappa opioid receptor antagonist,” the agent said.