Sun Pharmaceutical Industries yesterday said that US-based Wyeth Pharmaceuticals had sought damages worth $960 million related to their ongoing patent dispute over a generic version of Protonix drug. In 2009, Protonix was acquired by Pfizer from Wyeth.
In a regulatory filing, Sun Pharma said Wyeth had submitted to the District Court of New Jersey, experts' reports claiming damages against Sun Pharma and Teva, stemming from their earlier "at-risk launches".
"Wyeth's experts have estimated the purported damages from Sun Pharma to be USD 960 million. Wyeth's experts have also claimed Teva may be liable for some of Sun Pharma's damages and vice versa," the filing said.
Protonix drug is used in the treatment of heartburn, but Sun Pharma said it had sound reasons not to believe the claims.
"Sun Pharma believes that it has sound reasons to disagree with these overstated claims of Wyeth and also continues to believe that the patent is invalid and unenforceable and will pursue all available legal remedies including appeals," the filing noted.
According to Sun Pharma, in due course, it would also come out with its expert reports providing assessment on the purported damages. It added, after this, patent misuse and appropriate level of damages would be determined.
The District Court, in 2010 had turned down the request of Sun Pharma to "reverse the jury verdict that the patent is not invalid".
Sun Pharma and Teva had faced legal action over alleged patent violations in 2004 from Wyeth and Nycomed, the company from which Protonix was licensed.
(See: Sun Pharma launches generic version of Wyeth's Protonix)