Jazz Sues Indian Drugmaker Torrent Over Luvox CR Generic

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. sued Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. claiming the Indian drugmaker seeks to sell a generic version of the anti-anxiety medication Luvox CR before a U.S. patent expires.

Jazz is the exclusive licensee for the patent owned by Irish drugmaker Alkermes Plc. Jazz won U.S. approval in February 2008 of Luvox CR for obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety. Torrent advised the companies last month that it would be seeking approval to sell a generic version of the drug’s 100-milligram and 150-milligram capsules, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Luvox, a once-daily treatment, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, like other drugs used for depression.

OCD affects about 2.2 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. About one-third of adults with OCD develop symptoms as children. About 15 million have social anxiety disorder, the Institute said.

Kamesh Venugopal, president of Torrent’s U.S. subsidiary, declined to comment on the complaint.

The case is Alkermes Pharma Ireland Ltd. and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., 11-cv-01009, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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