Alcon wins Patanol US patent infringement case against Apotex

Defends Alcon’s intellectual property rights until patent expiry in 2015

Alcon Laboratories and Alcon Research, now part of Novartis Group of Switzerland, together with Kyowa Hakko Kirin of Japan, have won a patent infringement case against Apotex Inc and Apotex Corp in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Patanol, also known in many countries as Opantanol solution, is used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, including itching, redness, chemosis, tearing, and lid swelling.

The lawsuit was filed in response to Apotex's submission of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to the US FDA seeking approval to manufacture and sell a generic version of Alcon's Patanol (olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) prior to the expiration of US patent number 5,641,805, which is jointly owned by Alcon and Kyowa.

The US court decision, which is subject to appeal, would prevent Apotex from releasing its generic version of the drug until the Patanol patent expires in 2015.

Alcon’s US area president and vp of global marketing Stuart Raetzman said: ‘Alcon invested many years and millions of dollars in the discovery and development of an ocular allergy product that would stabilise mast cells in the eye and provide long-term relief of the signs and symptoms of ocular allergies.

‘Patanol was the result of this r&d effort and today's court decision is an important milestone to defend Alcon's intellectual property rights.’

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