Bristol Myers sues AstraZeneca over cancer treatment patents, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Bristol Myers Squibb Co, in a lawsuit made public on Friday, said AstraZeneca’s cancer treatment Imfinzi violated patents related to its blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo.

The lawsuit in federal court in Delaware found that using Imfinzi to treat lung and bladder cancer infringes several patents on Bristol’s Opdivo immunotherapy.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson said Friday the company is reviewing the complaint and will respond “when appropriate.”

A representative for Bristol Myers declined to comment.

New York-based Bristol Myers recorded more than $7.5 billion in global Opdivo sales last year. Imfinzi generated more than $2.4 billion in sales for the British drugmaker last year.

Bristol asked the Delaware court for an undisclosed amount of damages.

Opdivo (nivolumab) is a monoclonal antibody designed to block a protein that cancer cells use to evade the immune system. The treatment essentially suppresses the immune system to fight the cancer.

Opdivo is approved for use against many types of cancer, including melanoma and advanced lung, bladder and kidney cancer.

Imfinzi (duralumab) works in a similar way. The complaint, which cites several patents, says Bristol invented the methods to enhance immune responses.

A subsidiary of Bristol Myers previously won $1.2 billion from a unit of Gilead Sciences whose Yescarta lymphoma immunotherapy from another class of drug was found to infringe one of its patents. A US appeals court overturned that decision last year.

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