WASHINGTON -- Burroughs Wellcome Co. launched legalcounterattacks last week against two organizations attemptingto overturn its patents on the AIDS treatment AZT. LastTuesday, Burroughs filed a patent infringement complaintagainst Barr Laboratories Inc. of Pomona, N.Y.

Burroughs' complaint asks a U.S. District Court in Raleigh, N.C.,to prevent Barr from manufacturing and marketing genericAZT. Barr, which in April sought Food and Drug Administrationapproval to manufacture the generic form, probably willrespond to the complaint early this week, according to HaroldCohen, Barr's director of professional relations.

Also last week, Burroughs moved in district court to dismissanother suit that seeks to nullify its AZT patents, filed by twoHIV-infected men from Washington, D.C., and the People WithAIDS Health Group of New York.

A third suit against Burroughs has been filed in Canada byApotex Inc., a Canadian company whose controlling stockholderhas a 65 percent stake in Barr. It asks the Canadian courts toquash Burroughs' patents.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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