U.S. court voids $448 million award against AbbVie, AndroGel partner

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out an order that had required AbbVie Inc ABBV.N and a partner to disgorge $448 million in profit, in antitrust litigation accusing AbbVie of trying to illegally keep generic versions of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel off the market.

Ruling in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the lower court judge who ordered the disgorgement by AbbVie and Besins Healthcare Inc lacked authority under applicable federal law.

The appeals court also upheld an order finding AbbVie and Besins liable for monopolization, based upon its holding that they had filed a sham patent infringement lawsuit against Perrigo Co PRGO.N to delay the launch of generic AndroGel.

It also reinstated other FTC claims, and returned the case to the lower court for further proceedings.

AbbVie and lawyers for Besins did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FTC did not immediately respond to similar requests.

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