Bayer, pharmaceutical and chemical maker, filed a federal lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories for its best-selling drug, Humira, alleging it infringes a patent granted to Bayer in 1997.
Humira is an injectable drug used for treating multiple types of immune system diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and other ailments.
In the suit, filed December 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Bayer alleges Humira infringes a decade-old Bayer patent that covers antibodies that fight a protein called “tumor necrosis factor,” or TNF, that causes inflammation.
Bayer has asked the court to find that Abbott has infringed the patent, which expires on August 2014 and to award damages. The company is not seeking to enjoin Abbott from selling the drug.
A spokesman for Bayer said the company will not comment further on its litigation strategy including whether they plan to sue other companies that make drugs similar to Humira.
Abbott contends there is no infringement issue.
“Humira does not infringe Bayer’s patent. Abbott argues that Bayer’s patent is invalid,” said Scott Stoffeel, an Abbott spokesman. “We will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.” #