AbbVie Sues Generic Drugmaker Sun Over Zemplar Patent

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- AbbVie Inc., the drug unit that split from parent Abbott Laboratories on Jan. 1, sued Indian generic drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for infringing a patent for Zemplar, used to treat kidney patients.

AbbVie, based in North Chicago, Illinois, contends Mumbai-based Sun intends to market a low-cost version of the drug before the U.S. patent expires in 2016, according to papers filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Plaintiffs will be substantially and irreparably damaged and harmed” if the infringement isn’t stopped by a judge, AbbVie said in its complaint.

Abbott spun off AbbVie to let investors choose between a medical products company that makes devices, diagnostics and nutrition products, and AbbVie, a drugmaker based largely around Humira, a best-selling rheumatoid arthritis injection that generated $7.93 billion in 2011.

Uday Baldota, a Sun spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is AbbVie v. Sun, 13-cv-00138, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 5,597,815.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware at pmilford@bloomberg.net

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