Bloomberg News

Novartis Sues Teva, Watson, Anchen Over Drug Enablex

April 27, 2009

Units of Novartis AG (NOVN), Europe’s second-largest drugmaker, sued three rivals asking a federal judge to stop them from selling generic copies of the drug Enablex for overactive-bladder control until a patent expires.

Named as defendants in separate suits filed April 24 were Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. of North Wales, Pennsylvania; Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI:US) of Corona, California; and Anchen Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Irvine, California.

Novartis “will be substantially and irreparably damaged and harmed” if competing generic sale of the drug is permitted in the U.S. before the 2000 patent expires in 2016, company lawyers (1389L:US) said in complaints filed in Wilmington, Delaware.

Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG in 2005 hired the Procter & Gamble Co. (PG:US) of Cincinnati to help sell Enablex in the U.S. Overactive bladder affects more than 34 million Americans, according to the business partners’ Web Site.

Denise Bradley, a U.S. spokeswoman for Teva, said the company couldn’t comment on the lawsuit. Officials of Watson and Anchen weren’t immediately available to comment.

American depositary receipts of Teva parent, Petah Tikva, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), the world’s largest generic-drug maker, rose 39 cents to $44.86 at 4:29 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Each ADR is worth one ordinary share.

Watson fell 95 cents to $30.94 on the New York Stock Exchange. Anchen is closely held. Novartis was unchanged at 42.46 Swiss francs.

The cases are Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc; and Anchen Pharmaceuticals Inc., 09CV291, 09CV292 and 09CV294, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 6,106,864.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.


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