Purdue Pharma, Actavis Settle OxyContin Patent Litigation

Purdue Pharma LP settled a patent-infringement lawsuit against Actavis Inc. over the pain medication OxyContin.

Purdue will grant Actavis a license to sell “defined quantities” of a generic version of the drug as early as next year, the companies said today in a statement. Actavis, based in Morristown, New Jersey, will acknowledge that its formulations infringed the Purdue patents, according to the statement.

“Today’s agreement will promote competition and allow for availability of generic formulations of reformulated OxyContin,” John Stewart, the chief executive of Purdue, said in the statement. “This resolution relieves us of the risks, distractions and costs of continued litigation.”

Purdue initially sued Actavis and other drug companies in 2010 for violations of three patents. Actavis had submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to make tablets of oxycodone hydrochloride, the active chemical in OxyContin, before the patents expired.

The FDA said this month that generic drug companies will be barred from making older versions of OxyContin that aren’t resistant to tampering.

Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, replaced an older version of OxyContin with a tamper-resistant formulation. The drug, obtained illegally on the black market, has been abused by addicts.

Actavis rose $2.05, or 2.1 percent, to $100.94 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has risen 17.4 percent this year. Purdue’s shares don’t trade publicly.

The original case is Purdue Pharma LP v. Ranbaxy Inc., 10-3734, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan>)