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Novartis Sues Intas Over Patent Infringement Claims

July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG sued Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for patent infringement, claiming it sought U.S. approval to sell a generic version of the immunosuppressant drug Myfortic before Novartis’s patents expired.

Novartis, in a filing today in federal court in Washington, seeks to block Intas and its U.S. unit, Accord Healthcare Inc., from importing and selling generic Myfortic in the U.S. until its patents expire April 2017.

Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, alleges its patents were violated when Intas filed a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking to manufacture and sell 180 milligram delayed-release tablets of generic Myfortic, claiming Novartis’s patents are invalid.

The medication is used to treat patients who have had kidney transplants.

“Defendants products, if approved, will be administered to human patients in an amount effective to immunosuppress those patients, which administration constitutes direct infringement,” Frederick Haughey, a lawyer for Novartis, wrote in the complaint.

Chid Iyer, a lawyer for Ahmedabad, India-based Intas Pharmaceuticals at Sughrue Mion Pllc in Washington, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Novartis AG v. Accord Healthcare Inc. USA, 13-cv-01013, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

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

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