Lilly wins Zyprexa patent challenge

Share this article:
A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court’s decision to reject a patent challenge to Eli Lilly antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine). The decision means Zyprexa, Lilly’s biggest seller, won’t face generic exposure until the scheduled patent expiry in 2011. The Ivax unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories had claimed a US District Court was mistaken in upholding the drug’s patent. One of their arguments was that clinical trials of olanzapine constituted a public use and therefore should bar Lilly from getting a patent. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, disagreed, ruling the patent valid and enforceable. The appeals court, in a 23-page opinion released Tuesday, also said Lilly had not committed fraud by withholding information from the patent office, which Teva and Dr. Reddy’s had suggested. The ruling “not only affirms the validity of our patent, but upholds patent law that helps enable the significant investments required to develop the next generation of revolutionary medicines for the patients who need them,” Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel said in a statement. Lilly also is defending its marketing of Zyprexa in lawsuits by attorneys general of Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia and Alaska alleging the company promoted it for unapproved uses and hid the risks of weight gain and diabetes. Lilly received a subpoena in September from the California AG related to Zyprexa promotion and remuneration of healthcare providers. Last month The New York Times accused Lilly of keeping information about Zyprexa’s links to obesity and diabetes away from doctors. The allegations were based on documents given to the newspaper by a lawyer representing mentally ill patients. Lilly defended Zyprexa’s safety and called the release of the documents illegal. Zyprexa, which had 2005 US sales of $2.5 billion, was America’s best-selling antipsychotic in 2004 but was edged out by AstraZeneca’s Seroquel last year, according to IMS Health.
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in News

Lilly takes on Amgen's Enbrel

Lilly takes on Amgen's Enbrel

Phase-III tests indicate Lilly's experimental treatment bests Amgen's for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

GSK Ellipta franchise expands

GSK Ellipta franchise expands

The FDA has approved Arnuity Ellipta for asthma.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, August 21

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, ...

An Ebola survivor is set to leave Emory University Hospital, but the cause of the cure is uncertain, the FDA has approved a new type 1 diabetes test, and the ...