May 23, 2009
GTALAW wins patent case for client Sel-J
Pharmaceuticals’ Ampicillin Sulbactam (with brand name Unasan) wins
the patent case filed against them by Pfizer, owner of the leading
innovator brand Unasyn. The case, initially filed by Pfizer in
October 2008, alleges that Unasan infringes their patent for Unasyn.
Ampicillin Sulbactam is a popular and widely-prescribed injectable
antibiotic that is found very effective for the treatment of
moderate to severe cases of pneumonia, surgical infections, kidney
infections, bone and joint infections, surgical prophylaxis, and
other types of infectious diseases.
In a resolution dated March 31, 2009, Makati City Regional Trial
Court Judge Cezar O. Untalan found Pfizer’s patent for Unasyn drug
invalid because it violated Republic Act 8293, or the Intellectual
Property Code of the Philippines, because it forms part of a prior
patent which has already expired in 2007.
The decision of the Makati Regional Trial court reads as follows:
“This court hereby denies the issuance of a preliminary injunction
for plaintiffs (meaning Pfizer) miserably failed to prove of their
right over the subject molecular ingredient/element or sulbactam
sodium or sodium sulbactam for the simple reason the same ingredient
had been subject of a prior art.”
Alexander Llanes Acain, Jr., lead trial counsel for Sel-J
Pharmaceuticals said Pfizer, through counsel, has already filed a
timely Motion for Reconsideration from the Court’s decision.
Sel-J Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, is still contemplating on
filing a comment to this Motion for Reconsideration since the
court’s decision invalidating Pfizer’s patent was very clear.
“There is no compelling reason and justification in Pfizer’s Motion
for Reconsideration that could somehow amend, alter or modify the
court’s findings and conclusions,” Acain said.
Sel-J’s Unasan, sourced and imported from an ISO-certified, cGMP-compliant
manufacturing facility, is sold at very affordable prices to
Filipino patients as compared to the leading drug.
This news article also appeared in the
Business Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer 05/20/09 and Philippine
Star, Business Section 05/22/09.