Teva, subsidiaries accused of patent infringement, false advertising

WAYNE, N.J. Two divisions of Bayer have filed a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and two of its subsidiaries concerning a recently launched generic version of a popular Bayer contraceptive drug.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Schering Pharma announced Tuesday that they had sued Teva, Barr Pharmaceuticals and Barr Labs in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging patent infringement and false advertising in Teva’s marketing of Gianvi (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) tablets. Teva launched Gianvi on June 1, marketing it as a generic version of Bayer’s Yaz.

Specifically, according to the suit, the prescribing information for Gianvi reads that the drug uses the chemical beta-cyclodextrin as a “clathrate” to stabilize and prolong the shelf life of the active ingredient. But Bayer said it tested Gianvi tablets and was of the opinion that they did not use beta-cyclodextrin as a clathrate.

Bayer said it was seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop Teva from making what it called false claims about Gianvi and, in its view, infringing the patent that covers Yaz. Bayer is also asking Teva to “correct any erroneous impression persons may have derived” concerning Gianvi. Yaz had $782 million in sales in 2009, according to IMS Health.

Teva could not be reached for comment.

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