Create a free Manufacturing.net account to continue

AstraZeneca, Pozen File Generic Lawsuit

Pozen Inc. filed a patent infringement lawsuit against drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., which is seeking approval for a generic version of its osteoarthritis drug.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pozen Inc. said Monday that it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against generic drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., which is seeking approval for a generic version of its osteoarthritis drug Vimovo.

Dr. Reddy's informed AstraZeneca and Pozen, which co-developed the drug, that it filed for approval in March of a low-cost version of Vimovo. The Indian drugmaker is challenging one of the seven patents that supports Vimovo. Vimovo was approved in May 2010, and Pozen said the patent expires in 2023. Vimovo has marketing exclusivity until April 30, 2013.

AstraZeneca, one of the world's largest drugmakers, will take the lead in trying to block the Dr. Reddy's version of the drug from reaching the market before the patent expires. The Food and Drug Administration won't approve the Dr. Reddy's generic for 30 months or until a court rules on the patent lawsuit, whichever comes first.

Vimovo is approved as a treatment for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. It is a combination of two older drugs: naproxen, a common painkiller, and esomeprazole magnesium, which is the active ingredient in the heartburn drug Nexium. It is intended for use by patients who are at high risk of gastric ulcers, a common side effect of other drugs that treat those conditions.

Pozen is based in Chapel Hill, N.C., and AstraZeneca is based in London. Pozen shares rose 6 cents to $5.84 in morning trading, while AstraZeneca stock slid 19 cents to $49.74. Shares of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories picked up a penny to $37.81.
More in Operations