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Roche Sues Teva in U.S. Over Bone Drug

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding is taking legal action against Israel's Teva PharmaceuticalIndustries in the United States to prevent Teva from selling a generic version of Roche osteoporisis drug Boniva, Roche said on Tuesday.

"We have filed a complaint for patent infringement in the New Jersey court against Teva," said Roche spokeswoman Martina Rupp. "Their products infringe on Roche's patent rights."

Rupp said Boniva, which is sold as Bonviva in Europe, was covered by patents running from 2012 to 2023. "Our product is not off patent yet," she said.

Bonviva is in a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. The total market for that class of drugs is worth an estimated 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) and is expected to grow to 3 billion euros by 2010.

Roche rival Novartis and Teva have been involved in patent infringement litigation since 2005.

Novartis said earlier this month it would take a one-off charge worth up to $300 million for impairment of intangible assets after Teva launched a generic version of its antiviral compound Famvir, a herpes treatment.