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[e-drug] Glaxo sues some generic rivals

  • Subject: [e-drug] Glaxo sues some generic rivals
  • From: Kirsten Myhr <myhr@online.no>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 08:27:47 -0400 (EDT)

E-drug: Glaxo sues some generic rivals
[The neverending issue of patent lawsuits. Copied as fair use. KM]

New York Times August 23, 2002
Glaxo Sues Some Generic Rivals

URICH, Aug. 22 (Dow Jones/AP) � GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceutical
company, said today that it had filed lawsuits against several generic drug
makers, accusing them of using a stolen strain of bacteria to make versions
of its antibiotic Augmentin.

A Glaxo spokesman, Alan Chandler, said, "Our intent is to stop the use of
Glaxo's stolen trade secrets." He said the lawsuits were filed on Aug. 9.

Mr. Chandler said Glaxo had filed suit in a state court in Broomfield,
Colo., against Novartis, the Swiss drug maker; Geneva Pharmaceuticals, a
unit of Novartis; and Biochemie of Germany. Suits against Ranbaxy
Laboratories of India and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel have been
filed in a county court in Philadelphia County.

He said the company had recently carried out tests on generic versions of
Augmentin and that the results suggested that the crucial ingredient had
been made using a strain of bacteria developed at GlaxoSmithKline.

"The derivation of the particular strain is particular to Glaxo," Mr.
Chandler said. "It hasn't been made available to third parties and is a
trade secret."

The generic makers have 40 days to respond after the filing, and a ruling is
then expected within 12 to 18 months. The company has asked for damages for
lost profit.

A Novartis spokesman, Mark Hill, said the company would fight the suit. He
said, "We're confident that the lawsuit will show that the Novartis
companies have acted in a legally and ethically correct manner."

Teva and Ranbaxy were not immediately available for comment.

GlaxoSmithKline is trying to stave off generic competition to Augmentin,
which contributed $2.03 billion in global sales last year.

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