Roche, Biogen Idec file patent lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, Genmab over Arzerra

GlaxoSmithKline reported Thursday that Roche's Genentech unit and Biogen Idec filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the drugmaker and Genmab related to chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) treatment Arzerra (ofatumumab). A GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman said that the suit is not aimed at seeking an injunction to stop sales of the drug.

The claim pertains to GlaxoSmithKline's manufacture, marketing and sales of the oncology drug, which received FDA approval in October. A GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman said that it is studying the patent in question, which relates to a method of treating CLL with anti-CD20 antibodies, but doesn't believe the claims are valid or enforceable.

Commenting on the action, Sydbank analyst Rune Majlund Dahl said more information is needed to determine how the claim may impact GlaxoSmithKline and Genmab, but suggested that it may result in the drugmakers having to pay royalties to Genentech and Biogen Idec.

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