Schering-Plough files US patent lawsuit against Glenmark over Zetia

Schering-Plough filed a US patent infringement lawsuit against Glenmark over its cholesterol drug, Zetia (ezetimibe), Glenmark confirmed Wednesday. The India-based company submitted an FDA application to market a generic version of the drug last year.

In the complaint filed in federal court in New Jersey, Schering-Plough alleges that Glenmark "had no adequate good faith basis'' for claiming to the FDA that its version of the drug would not infringe any valid and enforceable patents. The company is seeking to block sales of Glenmark's generic version before the drug's patent expires in October 2016.

Glenmark believes that it is the first to file for FDA approval for a generic version of the treatment and if it successfully challenges Schering-Plough's patent, it will garner 180-day exclusivity for its product. Zetia is currently marketed through a joint venture between Schering-Plough and Merck & Co. The drug had sales of $1.93 billion in 2006.

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