Gilead Sciences is on the warpath to protect its AIDS meds. The specialty pharma has sued generics maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries over emtricitabine, a component of HIV fighters Truvada and Atripla. For the second time.
That's because Teva, in typical Teva fashion, is forging ahead with plans to replicate both AIDS meds. It asked the FDA last year to approve its version of Truvada, and now has filed for FDA's okay to sell a copycat form of Atripla. Gilead says its patents on emtricitabine are exclusively licensed from Emory University, so Teva has no right to produce meds using it.
What's at stake? Gilead brought in some $509 million on Atripla--just during the first quarter. At that rate, it'll rack up more than $2 billion in sales this year. Truvada sales amount to $2.11 billion in 2008, a whopping 33 percent increase over 2007 revenues.