Genentech's attempt to obtain an injunction against a rival'sdrug advertising shows that it is "about as aggressive as anycompany has ever been about defending their market,"according to Linda Miller, a biotech analyst at PaineWebberInc. of Boston.
Genentech Inc. of South San Francisco, Calif., sued Monday tostop SmithKline Beecham Corp. of Philadelphia from stating orimplying that the results of the ISIS-3 study on heart attackdrugs compares SKB's Eminase with Genentech's Activase.
ISIS-3 actually compares three clot-busting drugs: Eminase,streptokinase and an unapproved form of tissue plasminogenactivator (t-PA). Results of the study will be announced thisweekend.
"The suit is just another demonstration" of Genentech'saggressive tactics, said Miller. She added that strategy has beenworking, winning Genentech two-thirds of the market for anti-thrombolytics with a higher-priced product. Activase sells forabout $2,000 per dose compared with $1,700 for Eminase and$200 for streptokinase.
SKB on Tuesday said the lawsuit "appears to be an attempt toinhibit the free and open exchange of scientific information."
SKB officials declined to discuss the company's plannedresponse. "Come to court on Thursday," said SKB spokesmanRemy Heymsfeld. A hearing has been scheduled for Thursdayin U.S. District Court in San Francisco. -- Karen Bernstein
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