NEW YORK (Reuters) – Generic drugmaker Mylan NV alleged in a court filing that rival Allergan Plc is trying to take advantage of Native American sovereignty to shield its patent for the blockbuster dry-eye treatment Restasis.
In Federal District Court in Marshall, Texas, on Monday, Mylan said Allergan is “attempting to misuse Native American sovereignty to shield invalid patents from cancellation.” It said it would vigorously oppose Allergan’s attempt to protect a drug from patent challenges by transferring its rights to a Native American tribe.
Allergan said last week that it plans to transfer the rights to Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, and that it believes patents for the drug would no longer be subject to review by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
The company is facing challenges to the Restasis patents in front of that board and in federal court. Allergan has said the transfer should have no impact on the litigation in federal court.
The tribe will receive a one-time payment of $13.75 million and annual royalties of around $15 million under the arrangement. Sales of Restasis, which totaled over $1.5 billion last year, account for about 15 percent of Allergan’s profits, according to AllianceBernstein.
Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Dan Grebler