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Actavis Among Companies Sued by UCB Over Patent for Drug

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- UCB Inc. sued Actavis Inc., Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit and more than 13 other drugmakers alleging patent infringement for plans to sell low-cost generic versions of the epilepsy medicine Vimpat.

The unit of UCB SA, based in Brussels, contends that U.S. sales of Vimpat before the patent expires in 2022 would hurt its business, according to one of the complaints filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

UCB, formerly known as Schwarz Pharma AG, is “entitled to an award of damages for any commercial use” of the patented medicine, it said court papers.

Vimpat was the company’s third-best-selling product, generating 334 million euros ($437.4 million) in revenue last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Charlie Mayr, a spokesman for Parsippany, New Jersey-based Actavis, wasn’t immediately available to respond to a phone call seeking comment on the lawsuit. Julie Masow, a spokeswoman for Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In June, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s largest generic-drug maker, was sued for patent infringement in the same court by UCB over Vimpat. The case is pending.

To see the patent, click: RE 38,551.

The Actavis Case is UCB v. Watson, 13-cv-01219, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Michael Bathon in Wilmington, Delaware, at mbathon@bloomberg.net.

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

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