The State of Israel today filed a lawsuit in the Lod District Court for $100 million against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) claiming that the company violated the statre's rights by not paying royalties for multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.
Copaxone was developed by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, while its marketing rights belong to Teva. Initially Teva marketed the drug in daily doses but close to the expiration of the patent of the active ingredient, the company filed a patent request for a longer interval dosage. The state clams that the longer interval dosage was developed by breakthrough research by Weizmann institute researchers who are neurologists at government hospitals, and therefore rights for the research belong to the state.
The new version of Copaxone was approved by the US FDA and an estimated billions of dollars of it were sold with Teva registering the patent worldwide for the longer interval dosage of the multiple sclerosis treatment.
"Use of public resources"
The state, represented by Advs. Osnat Dafna and Inbal Tuaf of the Civil Enforcement Unit in the State Attorney's Office and Advs. Liad Whatstein and Amira Mangelus, claims that in the development and marketing of the new version of Copaxone, Teva violated and stole the IP rights of the state and did not pay the state royalties worth millions of shekels.
The lawsuit says, "The state has no alternative but to take legal action against Teva to ensure that it receives suitable remuneration for using public resources that brought Teva very large scale revenue."
The state discovered the affair when a personal lawsuit was filed against Teva by the researchers in 2018.
Teva said in response, "We are talking about a recycled lawsuit with groundless allegations that were claimed against Teva in the past in a lawsuit that has been pending since 2018. Teva will respond to the body of the allegations as part of the legal proceedings, as is customary."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 11, 2022.
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