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4 June 2019Big Pharma

Tokyo court dismisses Genentech patent suit against Sandoz

A Japanese court has dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Roche subsidiary G enentech against Sandoz, a division of Novartis.

In an announcement issued on Wednesday, May 29, Japanese drug manufacturer Chugai Pharmaceutical said the Tokyo District Court had denied Genentech’s claim that Sandoz’s biosimilar of the antibody Rituxan (rituximab), an intravenous infusion, was infringing three of its patents.

Rituximab is used to treat certain types of cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

Chugai is one of two exclusive distributors of Genentech’s Rituxan in Japan. In its announcement, Chugai said “there is no impact expected on Chugai’s financial prospects for this matter at this stage”.

In January 2016, Sandoz entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin for the distribution and promotion of its Rituxan biosimilar in Japan.

But, in January 2018, Genentech filed a patent infringement suit against Sandoz over the biosimilar, asking a Tokyo District Court to prohibit the sale of the injection.

However, the case was dismissed earlier this week. LSIPR has contacted the parties for comment.

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