Natco named in antitrust lawsuit in U.S. over generic cancer drug, shares tumble 3.5%

September 08, 2023 08:44 pm | Updated 08:57 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Natco Pharma has been named as a defendant in an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. over generic cancer drug Pomalidomide (Pomalyst). The announcement on Friday saw the Hyderabad-based drugmaker’s shares tumble 3.5%.

“Celgene Corporation, Bristol Myers Squibb, Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc. and Natco Pharma have been named defendants along with others in an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. by Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company D/B/A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and HMO Louisiana Inc. regarding Pomalidomide (Pomalyst),” Natco said, without sharing more details.

The company said it “believes this matter is without merit.” Breckenridge is the ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) holder and distribution partner for the generic product in the U.S.

Natco shares declined 3.52% to close at ₹881.40 apiece on the BSE.

In November 2020, Natco had announced marketing partner Breckenridge Pharmaceutical receiving the final approval for its ANDA for Pomalidomide capsules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The two firms had also settled a patent litigation with Celgene – which is part of Bristol-Myers Squibb and sold Pomalidomide capsules under brand name Pomalyst in the U.S. market – in the U.S. district court for the product.

A thalidomide analogue, Pomalidomide, in combination with dexamethasone, is indicated for patients with multiple myeloma. The patients must have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor, and demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy.

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