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.