Advertisement

Pfizer's patents upheld

March 21, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Pfizer Inc. won a court ruling Tuesday blocking Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from marketing a generic version of the painkiller Celebrex, the world's top-selling arthritis drug, until 2015.

U.S. District Judge John Lifland in Newark, N.J., upheld the validity of three Pfizer patents covering the drug after hearing arguments during a two-week trial in November.

"The patents are neither invalid nor unenforceable, and Teva has infringed the patents," Lifland wrote in a 201-page ruling. Teva's argument that the patents are an obvious variation of earlier inventions "fails at every major crossroad," the judge said.

Pfizer, the world's biggest drug maker, sued Teva in 2004 to halt its attempt to win Food and Drug Administration approval to sell copies of Celebrex. The drug generated $1.57 billion in U.S. sales in 2006, Pfizer said in a statement.

New York-based Pfizer claimed its patents protect Celebrex from generic competition until June 2015. Teva said its version of the drug would have infringed Pfizer's patents if they were valid. Israel-based Teva argued that they were not.

Teva, the world's biggest generic-drug maker, sought FDA approval to sell 100-milligram, 200-milligram and 400-milligram doses of celecoxib, the main ingredient in Celebrex. Pfizer acquired Celebrex in its $60-billion purchase of Pharmacia Corp. in 2003.

Shares of Pfizer rose 18 cents to $25.54, and Teva shares rose 4 cents to $36.58.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|