Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) says it is taking legal action in
the United States against Novartis, claiming the Swiss firm
is using a stolen bacteria to make copies of a GSK antibiotic.
has also asked the US government to bar Novartis from
importing generic versions of Augmentin into the US after
they went on sale this summer. We have reason to
believe they use the stolen strain of bacteria that is
a trade secret owned by GSK, a GSK spokesman said.
is also taking legal action in a Philadelphia County court
against Indias Ranbaxy Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals
of Israel. The two companies have yet to launch their
generic versions of Augmentin, but GSK says it has evidence
they also used the stolen bacteria.
its lawsuit GSK says the generic version of Augmentin
sold by Geneva Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Novartis, uses
a type of bacteria the company developed in the eighties
to produce a main ingredient for Augmentin.
bacteria was stolen by a former GSK employee, the company
says. The GSK lawsuit does not accuse Novartis or any
other maker of an Augmentin copy of being involved in
a statement, Novartis said: We are confident that
the lawsuit will show
Novartis companies acted in a legally and ethically correct