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Sandoz joins Accord in targeting US university

Viersen, Germany - May 9. 2020: Close up of mobile phone screen

The claim, filed this week against the University of California’s governing board, follows action by Accord Healthcare in October

Sandoz has become the second pharmaceutical company in the last few months to take action against the governing board of the University of California, according to a case filed with the England and Wales High Court on Tuesday, January 24.

The generics arm of Swiss outfit Novartis has filed pleadings against The Regents of the University of California. Publicly available documents are expected to be released in early February.

Sandoz filed the case in the patents division of the England and Wales High Court, but no further details are available at this stage.

The case follows action taken by Accord Healthcare in October last year in which the pharma company sought to invalidate a European patent and supplementary protection certificate (SPC) owned by the Regents.

That dispute arose after Accord signalled its intention to produce a capsule form of enzalutamide, a treatment for prostate cancer, in 2024 following the expiry of market exclusivity.

In the Accord case, the Regents first claimed that launching a capsule before the expiry date of a patent (EP 1,893,196) and SPC (GB13/079) it owns would amount to infringement.

In a counterclaim, Accord sought an order that the patent, called ‘diarylhydantoin compound’, is invalid and that the SPC is also invalid and should not come into force.

That case is expected to go to trial in the coming months. It is not known at this stage if the Sandoz dispute surrounds the same claims.

Bristows is representing Sandoz, whereas the Regents’ counsel have not been announced yet. In the Accord case, Pinsent Masons is acting for Accord while the Regents is being represented by Kirkland & Ellis.

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