May 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has begun a trial into whether Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB’s patent for an epilepsy drug is valid, said a generic drug company that is challenging UCB’s claim.
U.S. pharma group Argentum Pharmaceuticals said in a statement that it had been granted petition by the U.S. PTO for a review against all claims of the sole remaining patent of UCB’s Vimpat drug.
The PTO had also established a “reasonable likelihood that it would prevail” in showing that certain claims made by UCB in the patent are “unpatentable”, Argentum said.
UCB said it was aware of the development and that this had not changed its view that its patent for Vimpat, which had sales last year of 679 million euros ($758.7 million), was valid and would be upheld. ($1 = 0.8950 euros) (Reporting by Wout Vergauwen; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)