labels: pharmaceuticals, nicholas piramal, novartis, ranbaxy, glaxosmithkline
Glaxo SmithKline to sue Novartis, Ranbaxy news
Our Corporate Bureau
23 August 2002
London: 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.

GSK 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.

GSK is also taking legal action in a Philadelphia County court against India’s 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.

In 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.

The 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 the theft.

In a statement, Novartis said: “We are confident that the lawsuit will show Novartis companies acted in a legally and ethically correct manner.”


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Glaxo SmithKline to sue Novartis, Ranbaxy