New Delhi: Ranbaxy has refuted GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) charge that it has stolen a bacterial strain developed by GSK to protect its antibiotic Augmentin against generic drug-makers, including the home-grown Ranbaxy.
GSK had filed lawsuits against several generic drug companies, including Ranbaxy, alleging that they had used a strain of bacteria stolen from GSK to make generic versions of Augmentin.
A Ranbaxy spokesperson said: ''Ranbaxy has not indulged in any stealing or any unlawful or unethical conduct in regard to GSK's Augmentin. Ranbaxy is confident of its position in the context of the lawsuit filed by GSK in this regard.''
Augmentin was GSK's second biggest-selling drug in 2001, behind its anti-depressant Paxil. ''Obviously, GSK's worry would be whether Augmentin would do a Prozac on it. Prozac, Eli Lilly's anti-depressant drug, saw a massive erosion is sales in the US, within weeks after its patent expired, due to the onslaught by generics. But with GSK firing its salvo now, the onus is back on the generic companies, including Ranbaxy to respond,'' says an analyst.