Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, FCB I LLC Sue Watson for Infringement of Testim Patents

The pharma firms allege that Watson is violating numerous patents with its proposed generic version of the testosterone gel.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and FCB I LLC announced today that they filed a lawsuit against Watson Laboratories, Inc.; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Watson Pharma, Inc. (collectively, "Watson") for infringement of FCB's ten patents listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ("FDA's") Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (commonly known as the "Orange Book") as covering Testim 1% testosterone gel.  The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on May 23, 2012.

Auxilium and FCB filed this lawsuit in response to a notice letter sent by Watson Laboratories, Inc. (NV) regarding its filing with the FDA of Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA") No. 09-1073 for a generic 1% testosterone gel product.  This letter also stated that ANDA No. 09-1073 contained Paragraph IV certifications, under 21 U.S.C. Section 355(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, with respect to the nine patents listed in the Orange Book on that date as covering Testim: U.S. Patent Nos. 7,320,968; 7,608,605; 7,608,606; 7,608,607; 7,608,608; 7,608,609; 7,608,610; 7,935,690; and 8,063,029.  On May 15, 2012, a new composition patent covering Testim (U.S. Patent No. 8,178,518) issued.  This patent is now also listed in the Orange Book and was included in the patent infringement lawsuit filed against Watson.  In total, ten Testim patents are now listed in the Orange Book and are expected to expire on various dates ranging from April 21, 2023 through January 18, 2025.  Auxilium and FCB remain committed to protecting their intellectual property rights, including their patent protection for Testim.

Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, as a result of the patent infringement lawsuit filed against Watson, final FDA approval of Watson's ANDA for its proposed generic version of Testim will be stayed until at least the earlier of 30 months from the date Watson's notice letter was received (i.e., October 13, 2014) or final resolution of the pending patent infringement lawsuit.  Should Watson receive tentative approval from the FDA for its generic version of Testim before one of those events occurs, it would not be permitted to launch its generic product in the U.S.  Watson will also not be able to launch a generic version of Testim in the U.S. until it receives the necessary final approval of its ANDA from the FDA, which includes proving to the FDA that Watson's proposed generic product is comparable to Testim in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use.

Source: Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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