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Abbott sues J&J over Simponi

Abbott laboratories has sued Johnson & Johnson over its drug Simponi, stating that preparations to market the drug infringe a patent issued for Humira

Abbott laboratories has sued Johnson & Johnson over its drug Simponi, stating that preparations to market the drug infringe a patent issued for Humira.

Abbott's Humira (adalimumab), which treats rheumatoid arthritis, was issued a patent in 2007. Johnson & Johnson's Centocor unit plans to introduce golimumab, a new and competing drug for the crippling disease under the brand name Simponi.

Abbott is seeking cash compensation and an order to prevent further use of its invention by Johnson & Johnson.

Scott Stoffell, Abbott's spokesperson explained: "We're not asking the court to prevent the launch of Simponi. Abbott has no plans to file for a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order."

In response, Brian Kenney of Johnson & Johnson's Centocor unit said: "We are currently reviewing the complaint and will vigorously contest it… We believe we have rights to all of the intellectual property we need to market Simponi."

Johnson & Johnson received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the anti-TNF-alpha therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in April 2009. The drug, to be co-marketed outside the US by Schering-Plough, will compete with Humira and Amgen's Enbrel.

5th May 2009

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