Novartis Sues Lupin and Torrent

Category: WTO Sub-category: Intellectual Property
Document type: news

18-May-2012 | 10:23 IST | Edited by: Sharmila Maitra

Novartis AG sued Lupin Ltd. and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (TRP) for infringing patents on its Exforge HCT blood-pressure medicine.

Lupin, based in Mumbai, and Torrent, based in Ahmedabad, are seeking to make generic versions of the drug before the expiration of the two patents.

According to the complaints filed on 14th May in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, Novartis has requested a court order barring the companies from making, using or offering for sale copies of the drugs until the patents have expired.

Novartis is now counting on new products, including Exforge, to help replace revenue lost when the company's best sellers, Diovan for hypertension and Gleevac for leukemia, start to lose U.S. patent protection later this year and in 2015, respectively.

The two Exforge patents in dispute expire in 2017 and 2023, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration records.

The vice president of regulatory affairs at Torrent's U.S. offices claimed that the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The spokesperson for Lupin, also didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The cases are in court, named: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Lupin Ltd. (LPC), 12-00595; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Torrent Pharmaceuticals, 12-00596, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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Novartis International AG is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, ranking number two in sales (46.806 billion US$) among the world-wide industry in 2010.

Lupin Ltd. is world's largest manufacturer of the anti-TB drugs based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The company production contains the Cardiovascular (prils and statins), Diabetology, Asthma, Pediatrics, CNS, GI, Anti-Infectives and NSAIDs therapy and world's largest manufacturer of Anti-TB and Cephalosporins segments. It is also India' fifth largest drug maker by revenue.

Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is the flagship company of the Torrent Group. Based in Ahmedabad, it was promoted by U. N. Mehta initially as Trinity Laboratories Ltd. and was later renamed to its current name Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Torrent Pharmaceuticals operates in more than 50 countries with over 1000 product registrations globally.