Drugs manufacturer Indivior has had £1bn ($1.3 billion) wiped off their value as a result of it losing a US patent dispute over its heroin treatment substitute.
Reports indicate that the patent dispute between Reckitt Benckiser and Dr Reddy’s that was first ruled upon in 2014 has taken a vicious turn, as an appeal against the 2014 decision that a patent for ‘Suboxone Film’ was not infringed upon has been rejected.
According to the Guardian, chief executive, Shaun Thaxter said: “Today’s news is disappointing … given the belief that the company has in its intellectual property for Suboxone Film … We remain confident in Indivior’s long-term outlook and vision.”
This loss of patent dispute means that investors are losing confidence, given that 80% of Indivior’s revenue comes from ‘Suboxone Film’, which occupies 6% of the market. This in turn has led to a loss of £1 billion in the firm’s overall value. The company has stated that a sudden rise in competition for ‘Suboxone Film’ “could potentially result in a rapid and material loss of market share for Suboxone Film in the US.”
Nick Bassil, patent attorney and Partner at Kilburn & Strode, had this to say for Lawyer Monthly: “The impact of the decision against pharma giant Indivior, which recently pushed its shares into a tailspin, derives from the complex question of patent infringement, not validity. It’s important to remember this is only a first instance judgment and the validity of the patents was upheld.
Indivior look likely to file an appeal so the situation could change. Markets often overreact to such decisions, but it is all part of the cut and thrust of how generics seek to launch new products.”