In response to recent news regarding patent litigation surrounding its drug ribavirin, biopharmaceutical company Ribapharm announced this week that it believes its patent position to be unchanged by Schering-Plough's recent action and that it intends to vigorously defend its own position in court.
Kim D. Lamon, president and CEO of Ribapharm, said: "We remain confident in both the validity and the strength of Ribapharm's patents for ribavirin, and also in our ability to defend those patents in litigation.
While Schering-Plough recently announced a settlement of its ribavirin patent litigation with a generic manufacturer, we believe that Schering's litigation involves patents and issues that are very different from those contained in the Ribapharm litigation.
In addition, this action is only relevant to the United States market. We have always relied on the strength of our patents in our own litigation strategy, and believe that Schering's decision to settle in no way reflects on the strength of our patents or impacts our litigation strategy."
Schering-Plough markets Ribapharm's ribavirin in the US, Europe and Japan under the brand name Rebetol for use in combination with its Intron A or Peg-Intron to treat chronic hepatitis C in adult patients with compensated liver disease. Ribapharm also recently licensed ribavirin to F. Hoffmann-La Roche for its own version of ribavirin, Copegus, globally.