Orange County Business Journal

Judge Details Injunction Against Allergan Rival

Vita Reed Monday, March 12, 2012

A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against a German company seeking to sell a rival to Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.’s flagship Botox.

Allergan said that U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford in Santa Ana ruled that Merz Pharma GmbH and its U.S. units violated California’s uniform trade secrets act.

The injunction, among other things, prohibits Merz from selling or soliciting sales of its Xeomin drug in the facial aesthetics market for 10 months. Xeomin, a botulinum toxin, is seen as a potential competitor to Botox.

Guilford’s ruling came after a non-jury trial.

The court found that Merz misappropriated trade secrets belonging to Allergan, including “the specific identities and financial details” of Allergan’s relationships with virtually all of its doctor customers in the U.S. for Botox Cosmetic and lower-face filler Juvéderm, as well as a large segment of Allergan’s physician customers for Botox for therapeutic uses.

Guilford initially released the injunction without specific term or length. He followed up with specifics late last week.