The State of Israel today filed a $ 100 million lawsuit in Lod District Court against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (SNEEZE: TEVA; RATE: TEVA), which claims that the company infringed the rights of the state by not paying royalties for multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.
Copaxone is developed by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, while its marketing rights belong to Teva. Initially, Teva marketed the drug in daily doses, but close to the expiration of the patent on the active ingredient, the company filed a patent application for a longer interval dosage. The state claims that the longer-range dosing was developed by groundbreaking research conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute, who are neurologists in public hospitals, and that the rights to the research therefore belong to the state.
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The new version of Copaxone was approved by the US FDA, and billions of dollars of it were sold, while Teva registered the patent worldwide for the longer interval dosing of multiple sclerosis treatment.
“Use of public resources”
The state, represented by Advs. Osnat Dafna and Inbal Tuaf from the Civil Enforcement Unit of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and adv. Liad Whatstein and Amira Mangelus claim that in the development and marketing of the new version of Copaxone, Teva violated and stole the state’s IP rights and did not pay the state royalties worth millions of shekels.
The lawsuit states: “The state has no alternative but to take legal action against Teva to ensure that it receives adequate compensation for using public resources that have provided Teva with very large revenues.”
The state discovered the affair when a personal lawsuit was filed against Teva by the researchers in 2018.
Teva said in response: “We are talking about a recycling lawsuit with baseless allegations previously made against Teva in a lawsuit that has been pending since 2018. Teva will respond to the charges as part of the lawsuit, as is usual.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 11, 2022.
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