A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has granted a preliminary injunction against Japan’s Seikagaku Coporation, restricting the launch of a new product that would compete with Sanofi’s Synvisc-One treatment for knee pain.

A court date to determine the patent dispute is set for April. Until then, Seikagaku will not be able to sell the product below the current average price for Synvisc-One.

"We are pleased that the Court recognized the strength of our '030 patent, which protects Genzyme's Synvisc-One franchise," said Alison Lawton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sanofi's Biosurgery business.

"We are also pleased that the Court took decisive steps to protect the market position that Genzyme earned through its research and development and product innovation,” he said.

Sanofi secured the patent for Synvisc-One when it acquired Genzyme Corporation in 2011. Launched in 2009, it’s the only single-injection viscosupplement for knee pain in osteoarthritis patients on the U.S. market.

According to Sanofi, there are nine million eligible osteoarthritis patients in the U.S., but only 14 percent are currently treated with viscosupplements.