Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:TKPYY) Sue Actavis Over Patent Infringement


Dallas, Texas 06/30/2015 (Financialstrend) – Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) has gone to court to block a generic version of its diet pill Contrave. Enjoined in the case against Actavis PLC, which is trying to market the generic pill is, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Both allege that Actavis infringed on their patents related to weight-loss treatment.

Patent Infringement Allegations

Actavis had already filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application with the intention of selling a generic version of Contrave. Takeda and Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) maintains that Actavis generic pill infringes on patents already listed in the FDA’s approved drug products.

Contrave is part of a set of weight loss pills that were set to hit the market in the race to reduce body weight in obese patients. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Belviq and Vivus Inc.’s Qysmia also have products targeting the marketplace.

Initially, the FDA rejected Takeda and Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) approval for the drug over concerns it could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Takeda, which co-developed this drug, is believed to have asked Orexigen to pay the cost of a new heart risk study. The United States is among the top five countries in the world with people struggling with obese conditions.

Sales Concerns

Contrave has had a rocky path on its way to market a problem that has been compounded by the drugs failure to meet expectations in terms of sales.  The drug is competing for market share with other two already approved drugs for the US Market. Initially, the companies expected to generate billions of dollars from the drugs but sentiments have since changed as the therapies continue to generate annualized clip of between $40 million and $50 million

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) is desperately looking for a marketing partner to market the drug in Europe, where it won approval to sell it as Mysimba in March. No one has come up to take up sales in the region, significantly affecting the company’s chances of generating profits before generics hit the market.