Novartis has filed a lawsuit against Amgen for allegedly trying to inappropriately back out of their collaboration agreements covering the development and commercialisation of migraine drug Aimovig.
Aimovig is a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) inhibitor indicated as a preventive treatment for migraine. It received the US and European regulatory approvals last year.
Amgen is now suing back, claiming that Novartis breached their deals by working on a competitor drug.
Novartis subsidiary Sandoz forged a manufacturing deal with Alder BioPharmaceuticals that is developing a potential rival drug, called eptinezumab, for migraine.
The litigations have been filed in the US District Court in Manhattan.
Novartis claims that Amgen is trying to back out of their agreements and keep all the profits from Aimovig sales. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant wants a court ruling that the termination of the deals is invalid.
Meanwhile, Amgen is seeking undisclosed damages from Novartis for breaching the terms of the deal.
Announcing the filing of the lawsuit, Novartis said: “On April 2, 2019, Amgen issued a notice of termination of its migraine collaboration agreements with Novartis based on an alleged material breach of the collaboration agreements. Novartis disputes the notice vigorously.
“In order to prevent an unjustifiable attempt by Amgen to end the collaboration, Novartis has filed a lawsuit asking the court to confirm that Amgen has no right to terminate the agreements.”
According to Reuters, Novartis said that it invested nearly $870m on Aimovig since the start of its partnership with Amgen in August 2015. Prior to the deal, Amgen had controlling rights to the drug.
However, the deal between Sandoz and Alder is being terminated, and thus Amgen’s notice terminating Novartis alliance could be considered void.
Bloomberg quoted Amgen as saying: “Amgen asked Novartis to cure the breach. Novartis refused to do so and entered into an additional agreement with Alder committing to further manufacture the competing product.”
Amgen added that it is seeking to terminate the agreements, but termination would not be effective until the dispute is resolved.