Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is seeking $960m in damages from Sun Pharmaceutical for alleged patent infringement of acid reflex drug Protonix.

A generic version of the drug, held by Nycomed but licensed to Pfizer unit Wyeth, was launched in the US by Sun Pharmaceutical.

The lawsuit has been filed in the US District of New Jersey by Wyeth and Nycomed, owned by Takeda Pharmaceutical, and names both Sun and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Sun launched the generic version of Protonix in January 2008 following Teva’s launch of its own generic version in December 2007, and Sun Pharma will contest the lawsuit as it believes the patent protecting Protonix to be invalid.

"Sun Pharma believes that it has sound reasons to disagree with these overstated claims of Wyeth, and also continues to believe that the patent is invalid and unenforceable and will pursue all available legal remedies including appeals," said a company statement.

News of the lawsuit sent shares in Sun Pharma falling by as much as 3.7% in early trading on Thursday 16 February 2012.

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By GlobalData