Teva wants generics makers to hold off on launching their copies of multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone until the Supreme Court hears its appeal in a patent fight over the drug. And unsurprisingly, those generics companies are not that into the idea.
India may now be taking compulsory licensing one step further, with domestic Natco Pharma asking the country's patent office to deny Gilead Sciences protection on its brand-new hep C treatment in the first place.
On Monday, Teva asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to consider a plea to block generic competition to Copaxone until SCOTUS has weighed its appeal. And now, he wants to know what generics makers think about it.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has finally convinced the Supreme Court to hear its Copaxone patent appeal. But the high court may not hand down a decision till June 2015--and generic versions of the company's top moneymaker are on their way as soon as next month.
Novartis, already in a legal battle to try to keep India's Wockhardt from launching a generic of its diabetes blockbuster Galvus, says it is now trying to prevent Biocon from doing the same thing.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty set a precedent back in 2009, when his company placed several patents in a public pool to help developing countries find cures for HIV and other diseases--and then challenged other companies to do the same.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court's decision to invalidate Teva's Copaxone patent, which if restored will shield the drug until September 2015. The decision may, in the least, leave competitors wary of proceeding with generics, giving Teva more time to convert patients to a new, long-acting version of the treatment.
Patent settlements between drugmakers and generic manufacturers have drawn even more scrutiny since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last summer that the Federal Trade Commission has a right to challenge them. At issue are "pay-for-delay" deals, in which manufacturers of branded drugs pay generics challengers to refrain from launching copies until an agreed-upon date.
With Lipitor already over the patent cliff, Pfizer has been working hard to hang onto exclusivity for its famed erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra. In its latest bid to block generic competition, Pfizer has sued Indian drugmaker Torrent Pharmaceuticals for patent infringement.
Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi portends to be a megablockbuster by the end of this year--and possibly the biggest-selling drug of all time a few years down the road. So it's no surprise that others are after a piece of the drug--Idenix Pharmaceuticals included.