Novartis, GSK in vaccine patent fight

Vaccines are one of the healthiest segments of the pharma market these days. So it's no surprise that two Big Pharma firms are locked in an intense squabble over vaccine-related patents. The question is, how will the battle shake out--and will it throw a kink into anybody's shot production?

Here's the story: Late last year, GlaxoSmithKline sued Novartis over its patented techniques for producing conjugate vaccines. In both London and Belgium, Glaxo asked courts to revoke Novartis's patent on similar production processes, saying that the Swiss drugmaker's patent was "weak" and "should never have been granted," the Times reports. Now Novartis is striking back with its own lawsuit, which claims that not only is its patent valid--but Glaxo is infringing on it.

If Novartis were to prevail, that could send Glaxo's vaccine production into disarray, and vice-versa. Will the two drugmakers come to a settlement instead? The first indication could come in January, when a hearing is set on Glaxo's initial claims against Novartis.

- read the Times piece
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