MOSCOW, June 15 (RAPSI, Maria Petrova) – Russian pharmaceutical company Biocad has lodged a complaint against F. Hoffman La-Roche Ltd. (Roche) with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accusing the Swiss company of anticompetitive conduct.

RAPSI has a copy of the complaint at its disposal.

According to the plaintiff, in Russia Roche has deliberately lowered prices of a number of drugs used to treat cancer, whereas raising the prices of the same drugs in the USA. It concerns Avastin, Heceptin and Rituxan cancer drugs. The complaint says that these drugs bring Roche over $20 billion per year, with almost 50 per cent of such profits coming from the US, which remains the most lucrative market for the defendant.  

At present, the plaintiff alleges, Biocad is the only pharmaceutical company in the world that was able to recreate biosimilars of these anticancer drugs.

In 2014, shortly after the Russian company recieved approval in Russia for its first biosimilar of Roche’s Rituxan and announced that significant progress was being made to create generic copies of Avastin and Herceptin, Roche and Genentech (a US Roche subsidiary) implemented a price hike in the US and simultaneously were selling the drugs in Russia at lower prices, the complaint maintains.

The Russian company alleges that in this manner Roche is trying to destroy its business and prevent it from entering the US market.

Biocad accuses Roche in abuse of its monopoly market position and asks the court to rule the defendant’s actions as illegal. The Russian company also demands reparation of damages, which should, according to the complaint, be determined at the trial.

The Roche (Switzerland) pharmaceutical company was established in 1896, and currently operates in 150 countries. It has more than 80 000 employees, according to the company's website. Roche produces biotechnological medical products to treat cancer, viral infections, metabolic, central nervous system disorders and inflammatory diseases.