Hulani Pharma, which sells Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi and other generic drugs, is trying to extend the patents of its products.
Hulani filed an application in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December to extend patents of Hepatia and Hepatial (HapT) drugs by three years, which was granted in January.
The company is now working on revising the application to extend patent protection for three more years.
The U.K.-based drug maker also filed a patent application for the Hepatium and Hepetrol product in March.
But the company says the patents should not be extended beyond 2019, even as it is still negotiating with patent holders.
India’s Health and Family Planning Ministry has issued notices to six drug makers for their extensions, which have been appealed by Hulania Pharma and Hepa Pharmaceuticals.
“We have to make an offer to the government of India and the patent holders to extend these patents.
We are not the only company who is considering this,” said Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Hulana Pharma.
Gupta said the company is looking to secure a contract with a generic drug maker for the HapT and Hepata drug.
“Hapt and Hepay have not yet entered the market and we are hopeful that the government will grant our patents and our products a new life,” Gupta said.
Hepatitis is a chronic, life-threatening infection that is transmitted by infected blood and other fluids.
The disease affects 1.5 million Indians and has become a huge financial burden on the country.
The U,S., United Kingdom, France and other countries have banned the use of the H1N1 influenza vaccine, which has reduced the number of cases and deaths in the country, but it remains widely used in India.
The vaccine can be administered by injection in most of India, but many of the country’s 1.3 billion population are forced to buy it at a price of more than Rs 1,000 ($1,400) per dose, and many have to buy the medicine every two weeks.
HapTCan, a generic H1-N1 vaccine, is the most commonly used in the Indian market, and it is available in all the major centres of the world including the U, United Kingdom and Australia.