Cubist Sues Hospira Over Cubicin Bacteria Medicine Patent

Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST), a maker of antibiotic medicines, sued Hospira Inc. (HSP) for patent infringement over plans to market a generic version of Cubicin, a drug used to combat the MRSA flesh-eating bacterium.

Hospira, based in Lake Forest, Illinois, has applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell a copy of Cubicin before to the 2020 expiration of Lexington, Massachusetts-based Cubist’s patent, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Cubist contends in court papers that Hospira lawyers wrongly claim the patent is “invalid, unenforceable and/or will not be infringed by the commercial manufacture” of generic Cubicin.

The injectable antibiotic is being used for patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which doesn’t respond to conventional medicines.

MRSA infections are commonly spread by direct contact with a skin infection or items such as towels or bandages that have had contact with an infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Cubist asked a judge for a ruling of infringement and an order to stop Hospira from selling the generic version of the drug until it loses patent protection.

“Hospira is committed to bringing high-quality, lower- priced generic alternatives to the market,” said Daniel Rosenberg, a company spokesman, in an e-mailed message.

Shares of Cubist fell 44 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $39.01 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading in New York at 4 p.m.

The case is Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Hospira Inc., 12-cv-859, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 8,129,342.

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Dawn McCarty in Wilmington, Delaware, at dmccarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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