Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Novartis AG unit Sandoz got final approval from a Tennessee federal judge for a $120 million settlement of claims that they tricked regulators into incorporating a patent on their blood thinner Lovenox into a drug testing standard, reported Bloomberg Law.
Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. gave his blessing May 29 to the agreement, which will hand $40 million to the attorneys representing the class action plaintiffs, after giving it a preliminary nod in January. The deal calls for contributions of $85 million from Sandoz and $35 million from Momenta.
It resolves an antitrust lawsuit accusing the two drugmakers of concealing their pending Lovenox patent application while lobbying the US Pharmacopeial Convention in favor of a testing protocol that would require generic makers to infringe the patent, which was later approved.
The patent covered a method for testing the quality of Lovenox’s active ingredient, used to treat and prevent clots and heart attacks.
The companies must have known what they were doing, because they had just convinced the USPC to condition the testing protocol on the withdrawal of another patent application by nonparty Sanofi-Aventis SA, the original maker of Lovenox, the suit claimed.
The scheme allegedly worked, with the agency approving a protocol that forced generic Lovenox makers to infringe the patent by performing mandated quality tests.
Full Content: Bloomberg
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