Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc is seeking USD 960 million in damages from Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for alleged patent infringement in launching a generic version of acid reflux drug Protonix in the United States, the Indian company said.
The original patent relating to Protonix, known chemically as pantoprazole sodium, is held by Swiss drugmaker Nycomed and was licensed to Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer.
Wyeth and Nycomed, owned by Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey against Sun and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
Sun launched its generic version of Protonix tablets in January 2008 after Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its U.S. subsidiary began selling the drug in December 2007.
"Sun Pharma believes that it has sound reasons to disagree with these overstated claims of Wyeth, and also continues to believe that the patent is invalid and unenforceable and will pursue all available legal remedies including appeals," the company said on Thursday.
Nycomed manufactures a major quantity of pantoprazole in a joint venture with India's Cadila Healthcare. Drugs, in which pantoprazole is a key ingredient, have annual global sales of between $7 billion and $8 billion.
Shares of Sun Pharma fell as much as 3.7% in early trade on Thursday, while the broader market was down 0.2%.
Sun Pharma stock price
On November 27, 2015, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries closed at Rs 739.95, up Rs 4.00, or 0.54 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 1200.70 and the 52-week low was Rs 706.40.
The latest book value of the company is Rs 94.62 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company was 7.82.
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