Pfizer’s arm Hospira secures Indian patent for drug

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Chennai | Published: October 17, 2015 2:52:39 AM

In February, Pfizer had announced the $17 billion takeover of Hospira.

US-based Hospira, now a subsidiary of pharma major Pfizer Inc, has secured an Indian patent for an improved process for the preparation of Cilastatin -part of a medical compound used in the treatment of a number of bacterial infections.

Cilastatin is a chemical which acts with antibiotic Imipenem for the treatment of infections of various body systems. Imipenem and Cilastatin combined in a drug is an antibiotic. It is used to treat serious infections that are mild to moderate in severity, such as lower respiratory infection and heart valve infection. The Imipenem-Clastatin intravenous drugs are marketed under common brand name Primaxin.

The patent application titled ‘an improved process for the preparation of Cilastatin’ was originally filed by Chennai-based Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals in 2005. With some business of Orchid Pharma having been taken over by Hospira, in 2009, the patent application under process was also transferred to Hospira. Hospira was recently acquired by Pfizer.

Cilastatin, a renal dipeptidase inhibitor, triggers the enzymatic breakdown of Imipenem and increases urinary excretion of the active drug. Originally Cilastatin was disclosed in a US patent and it also discloses various processes for the preparation of Cilastatin.

The primary objective of the instant invention – which has now been granted patent – is to provide a commercial process for the preparation of Cilastatin. The invention also offers to provide an improved process for the preparation Cilastatin Sodium with high purity.

Granting the patent, Bindhu Jacob, assistant controller of patents and designs, Chennai, said: “After carefully considering the submissions made by the applicant, the amended claims on record meet the objections communicated in the hearing notice. Therefore, the instant application submitted with five amended claims on September 30, 2015 is allowed for grant of patent.”

The company had amended some of the claims based on the objections raised by the patent office and a hearing was offered on September 23, 2015. Hospira, the world leader in generic injectable pharmaceuticals had in 2009 acquired Orchid’s generic injectable finished-dosage form pharmaceuticals business for around $400 million.

The acquisition included Orchid’s beta-lactam antibiotics manufacturing complex comprising cephalosporin, penicillin and carbapenem facilities and pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) facility at Irungattukottai, Chennai, as well as its generic injectable product portfolio and pipeline. Beta-lactam antibiotics represent a class of drugs with a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity.

In addition, the companies signed a long-term exclusive agreement for Orchid to supply active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the acquired generic injectable pharmaceuticals business.

Making further consolidation in the global pharmaceutical market, Pfizer in September this year had completed its acquisition of its smaller rival Hospira.

In February, Pfizer had announced the $17 billion takeover of Hospira. The deal was to add Hospira’s portfolio of sterile injectable treatments and biosimilar drugs to Pfizer’s broad pharma offerings.

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