Judge chooses lead lawyers in Actos litigation

Two plaintiffs' lawyers experienced in pharma liability litigation have been tapped to lead the group managing thousands of suits alleging that Takeda Pharmaceutical's diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty chose Richard Arsenault, one of the lead plaintiffs' lawyers in the Vioxx lawsuits against Merck ($MRK), and Paul Pennock, who co-managed consolidated litigation over AstraZeneca's ($AZN) Seroquel. The steering committee, which comprises 19 of the lawyers representing Actos plaintiffs, also includes two other Vioxx litigators, Mark Lanier and Chris Seeger.

Takeda faces a potential 10,000 lawsuits from patients alleging that it withheld information about the risk of bladder cancer in patients using Actos, and that it didn't adequately warn of the potential danger. As Bloomberg notes, the company has pulled the diabetes drug off the market in Germany and France, after new evidence emerged of a link to bladder cancer. The first hearing is scheduled for later this month.

- read the Bloomberg update