Bloomberg News

Abbott Sues Boehringer’s Roxane Over Patents for Norvir

April 11, 2012

Abbott Laboratories (ABT:US), a U.S. health- care company, sued the German drug maker Boehringer AG (0205298D)’s Roxane Laboratories Inc. and accused it of infringing three patents for the HIV drug Norvir.

The Abbott Park, Illinois-based company contends Roxane is wrongly planning to market a generic version of Norvir tablets before the U.S. patents expire, according to papers filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Abbott will be irreparably harmed” if Roxane introduces its copy and “Abbott is entitled to a permanent injunction against further infringement,” according to the complaint.

Lawsuits against generic-drugmakers are “a normal and expected response to the filing of certain Abbreviated New Drug Applications” with the FDA, said Angela Chirico, a spokeswoman for Columbus, Ohio-based Roxane in an e-mailed statement.

Roxane “complies with all FDA regulations and will not comment further on pending litigation,” she added. The company has filed a complaint against Abbott in Ohio to “address this action in the judicial system,” according to the statement.

Abbott is splitting itself into a diversified products company led by its medical device division, and a drug company, to be called AbbVie.

Its best-selling medicine is Humira, a $7.9 billion-a-year injection to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The company also makes blood-sugar meters, coronary stents, nutritional supplements, eye drops and veterinary products.

The case is Abbott v. Roxane, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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