Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) received a major setback after it lost Alimta patent case to Actavis. The German Court of Appeal ruled that Eli Lilly’s vitamin regimen patent for cancer drug Alimta would not be infringed by the Actavis, which intends to launch a salt form of pemetrexed in Germany. It is to be noted that Eli Lilly’s Alimta compound patent right will come to an end in December 2015.
Court ruling unfavorable
Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) has openly showed its disagreement with the ruling and is preparing to appeal the ruling to the German Supreme Court. Reacting to the decision, the company’s SVP and General Counsel Michael J. Harrington said that they do not agree with the decision of the German Court of Appeal in connection with Alimta’s patent. He said that though the exclusivity of the compound in Germany would come to an end in December 2015, but still generic pemetrexed products, such as alternative salt forms marketed anytime before June 2021 will breach its patent in Europe.
It is to be noted that earlier in April 2014, the English High Court had passed similar ruling in relation to alternative salt forms of pemetrexed in Italy, Spain, France and the U.K. The Appeal for the ruling is yet to come and the hearing of the same is scheduled to start from March 9, 2015 onwards. Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY)’s concern over the ruling underscores the significance of Alimta as an important product in the company’s portfolio. Alimta alone garnered $2.8 billion sales in the year 2014 as the drug is indicated for the treatment of a range of cancers. Hence, an early entry of generics will translate into huge losses for the company.
The company’s Alimta patent was maintained in an earlier ruling by the European Patent Office. The appeal for the same is pending to be heard by the Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office.
After the news broke, the shares of Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) head south, inching down by 0.28% during the after-hours to close at $69.39.
Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) opened the day at $69.12 $69.20 and is currently trading at $69.20.