Switzerland's Basilea has scored a victory in its bitter fight with Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ). After accusing the pharma giant of botching the pivotal clinical trials for the superbug antibiotic ceftobiprole, triggering a rejection by regulators in the U.S. and Europe, a Dutch arbitration court ordered J&J to hand over $130 million.
The arbitration award comes three months ahead of J&J's deadline for handing back the rights to the antibiotic. And now Basilea is expected to push ahead with trials of its own. Jefferies International analyst Philippa Gardner tells Dow Jones she anticipates the Swiss biotech to mount two clinical trials for the drug, which she expects can garner about $140 million a year in peak sales.
The award marks yet another black eye for J&J, which has had to deal with a series of embarrassing mishaps, including a string of product quality snafus. European regulators slapped down the application for ceftobiprole after its inspectors concluded that the late-stage clinical trials conducted by J&J hadn't been compliant with good clinical practice.
"It's our priority to make this drug available to patients as soon as possible," Basilea CEO Anthony Man told Reuters. The award covers Basilea's lost milestones plus damages.