Allergan Sues Watson Over Sanctura Incontinence Drug

Allergan Inc., the maker of wrinkle-smoothing Botox, sued Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., alleging infringement of a U.S. patent for Sanctura XR, a prescription medicine used to treat overactive bladder.

Allergan, and business partners Endo Pharmaceuticals Solutions Inc. and Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc., contend in a federal court complaint that Watson plans to market a generic version of Sanctura before the 2008 patent expires in 2025.

“Plaintiffs will be irreparably harmed by Watson Pharmaceuticals’ infringing activities” unless stopped by a judge, according to court papers filed yesterday in Wilmington, Delaware.

Irvine, California-based Allergan, with $4.4 billion in total sales last year, and Endo of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with $1.26 billion in 2008 sales, co-market Sanctura in the U.S., according to the lawsuit. Rockville, Maryland-based Supernus, the closely held patent owner, bought out Shire Laboratories in 2005.

Besides an injunction against generic sales, Allergan and its partners seek unspecified damages and a declaration that the patent is infringed.

Patty Eisenhaur, a Watson spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Corona, California-based Watson, with $2.53 billion in sales last year, fell 2 cents to $33.50 at 4:29 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Allergan rose 6 cents to $45.96 on the NYSE. Endo fell 13 cents to $17.64 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

The case is Allergan Inc. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., 09CV511, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 7,410,978.

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