AstraZeneca, Teva settle Byetta patent suit; generics on their way


Immediately following AstraZeneca’s big FluMist setback Thursday, the British pharma has entered into an agreement with Teva that will likely lead to sales losses for another product, Byetta.

AstraZeneca and Teva settled patent disputes over the Type 2 diabetes injection and have agreed that beginning October 15, 2017, Teva can produce a generic knockoff for sales in the U.S. That date could be made earlier under “certain circumstances,” Teva said in its statement; other aspects of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

Byetta last year brought in $316 million in sales for AZ, with $209 million coming from the U.S. The pharma, which teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2012 to buy Amylin Pharmaceuticals, eventually picked up full Byetta rights in 2013 with its $4.1 billion purchase of BMS' share of a diabetes partnership.

While Byetta’s sales represent only about 1% of AstraZeneca’s global haul, the development comes as the company works to meet ambitious sales milestones promised by CEO Pascal Soriot during Pfizer’s hostile takeover campaign. At the time, he said the company could achieve $45 billion annually by 2023, compared with AZ’s $23.6 billion last year.

And the agreement comes the same week as an unwanted setback in the U.S., where a CDC committee recommended against any use of FluMist for the upcoming season. That led to an $80 million inventory knockdown and will mean more in lost sales over the course of the next few months.

- here’s Teva’s release

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