Novo Nordisk, Sandoz settle diabetes drug patent spat

March 24, 2022

Novo Nordisk has reached a settlement with Novartis’ Sandoz over patent disputes regarding Novo’s diabetes drug, Victoza.

Novo’s patent for Victoza is set to last until late 2022 or 2023 in the U.S and Europe. In Japan, the patent will run out in 2022 and in China it has already expired. Sandoz is already waiting with its own generic version of the drug. The company, known for its generic and biosimilar products, will launch its own version of Novo’s drug as soon as June 22, 2024.

Victoza, used to treat type 2 diabetes, brought in over $2 billion in sales last year.

The dispute — centered around the drug's API liraglutide — was headed to court, had Novo and Sandoz not reached an agreement. Court documents filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware showed that a patent infringement trial was lined up for April.

Sandoz isn’t the only company itching to dip its toe into the market. Teva Pharmaceuticals has its own Victoza generic lined up that could launch in late 2023. In 2019, Teva and Novo butted heads over Teva’s potential launch of a diabetes generic. The case was ultimately settled, but Novo mentioned the potential for Teva’s launch to be pushed back to 2024 should Novo receive approval for Victoza’s use among pediatric patients.

Novo’s prediction came true almost a year later when the company received U.S. FDA approval to expand the drug’s access to children aged 10 to 17.

Other potential contenders looking to launch their own versions of Victoza include Delaware-based Rio Pharmaceuticals, India-based Aurobindo Pharma and Sun Pharmaceuticals, and New Jersey-based Zydus Pharmaceuticals.