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...Novartis had been fighting in the SC to patent a drug used in chronic myeloid leukaemia and other cancerous conditions.The National Cancer Institute, a public body that provides grants to scientists in the US, originally funded the research.It is on record that its innovator had to "persist" with the managers of the erstwhile Ciba-Geigy (which merged with Sandoz to form Novartis), who did not initially show interest, but later it was hailed as a breakthrough drug.Like others, Novartis was just an interface to bring publicly funded university research and to commercialise the molecule after human clinical trials.The stakes are high because of prolonged lead-time from development to marketing.It is near impossible to recoup investments without a protective patent regime.The bulk of innovation in the drug industry has taken place in Europe and the US. ...Indian Express on April 15, 2013, 2:45 a.m.