Glaxo to pay Watson to end patent lawsuit

From Bloomberg News

GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-biggest drug maker, agreed to pay Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. $35 million plus royalties to resolve a patentinfringement lawsuit over the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL, the companies said Monday.

Andrx Corp., bought by Corona-based Watson last year, sued Glaxo in December 2005 in federal court in Miami, claiming that the 150-milligram form of Wellbutrin XL infringed an Andrx patent. As part of the settlement, Glaxo will get a license to the patent and will pay royalties, Watson spokeswoman Patty Eisenhaur said. Watson hasn’t disclosed the amount of the payments or how long they will last, Eisenhaur said.

Wellbutrin XL, sold in 150- and 300-milligram doses, generated $1.55 billion in sales last year for London-based Glaxo. The drug lost patent protection in December, and generic versions entered the market. Glaxo sells the drug with partner Biovail Corp. of Canada, which wasn’t named in the Andrx lawsuit.

The settlement “helps the company avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation,” Glaxo spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne said.


Watson, a maker of generic drugs, bought Davie, Fla.-based Andrx for $1.9 billion in November. The patent was issued in June 2005.