* EU regulators probe modafinil agreement
* Regulators say deal may have hindered drug's market entry
* Cephalon markets modafinil as Provigil
(Adds details, background)
BRUSSELS, April 28 EU regulators have opened an
antitrust probe into an agreement between U.S.-based Cephalon
Inc CEPH.O and Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
(TEVA.TA)TEVA.O on generic modafinil in the European market.
The European Commission, which acts as the antitrust
regulator for the EU, said in a statement the agreement between
Cephalon and generic drugs firm Teva "may have had the object or
effect of hindering the entry of generic modafinil".
Modafinil, marketed by Cephalon as Provigil, is used to
treat certain sleeping disorders.
The Commission, which has said it wants to ensure drugmakers
and generics firms do not delay the market entry of cheaper
pharmaceuticals, said its investigation did not mean it had
conclusive proof of any infringement, but that it would give the
The investigation would look into a patent settlement
agreement -- and several side deals -- between Cephalon and Teva
in 2005 in Britain and the United States, it said.
As part of the agreement, Teva undertook not to sell its
generic modafinil products in the European Economic Area before
The Commission said the agreement had also been under
scrutiny from U.S. antitrust investigators.
The European Commission said in January it was asking drug
firms for more details of their patent deals with generics
makers. The move was part of a series of EU crackdowns on
possible anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical
(Reporting by Rex Merrifield; Editing by Will Waterman)