Sun Pharma, Teva to pay $2.15 bn to Pfizer, Takeda

Sun Pharma, Teva to pay $2.15 bn to Pfizer, Takeda

Sun Pharma, Teva to pay $2.15 bn to Pfizer, Takeda

India's Sun Pharmaceuticals and Israel's Teva will pay a sum of USD 2.15 billion to Pfizer and Takeda as part of patent infringement settlement for acid reflux medicine Protonix in the US.

"Under the terms of the settlement, Teva and Sun will pay a total of USD 2.15 billion to compensate Pfizer's subsidiary Wyeth and Takeda for the damages they suffered when Teva and Sun launched 'at-risk' generic versions of Protonix prior to the January 2011 expiry of the patent for pantoprazole, the active ingredient in Protonix," Pfizer said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, Teva will pay Pfizer and Takeda USD 1.6 billion and Sun will pay USD 550 million, it added.

"Teva will pay USD 800 million in 2013 and the remaining USD 800 million by October 2014; Sun's entire payment will be made in 2013," the company said.

Both Teva and Sun have admitted that their sales of generic pantoprazole infringed the patent that was held valid by a jury in New Jersey federal court.

Reacting to the development, Sun Pharma said: "Under the terms of the litigation settlement between Sun Pharma, and Wyeth, (now a division of Pfizer Inc.,) and Altana Pharma AG, (now known as Takeda GmbH) the parties have dismissed all their claims. Sun Pharma will pay a lump-sum USD 550 million as a part of this settlement."

In 2005, Wyeth and Altana had filed a patent infringement suit against Sun Pharma after the Indian firm filed its abbreviated new drug application for pantoprazole. Sun Pharma launched its generic pantoprazole in the US on January 30, 2008. In April 2010, a jury had determined that Altana's patent was valid.

On June 3, 2013, the court began a jury trial to assess the amount of past damages that Sun Pharma owed for infringing Altana's now expired patent.

"This settlement now culminates the ongoing litigation," Sun Pharma said, adding that it can continue to sell its generic pantoprazole in the US.

The settlement comes after a nearly 10-year legal battle in which Pfizer and Takeda sought to enforce the patent its acid reflux medicine.

Pfizer and Takeda will divide the proceeds of the settlement with Pfizer receiving 64 per cent and remaining will go to Takeda.

Commenting on the development, Pfizer General Counsel Amy W Schulman said: "We are pleased with today's settlement, which recognises the validity and value of the innovation that led to Protonix. Protecting intellectual property is vital as we develop new medicines that save and enhance patients' lives."