Eli Lilly hit with $177M verdict in migraine patent fight with rival Teva

A years-long patent fight between two leading contenders in the injectable migraine space has broken in Teva's favor.

After a trial this week, a Boston federal jury has slapped Eli Lilly with a $176.5 million verdict for infringing three patents covering Teva's migraine prevention drug Ajovy, Reuters reports.

The jury found that Lilly willingly violated three Teva patents with its own migraine prevention therapy, called Emgality. The jurors also rejected Lilly’s claim that the patents were invalid.

The case dates back to 2018, when Teva accused Lilly of stepping on nine Ajovy patents that cover methods of using antibodies to treat migraines by inhibiting peptides.

That same year, Ajovy and Emgality both scored FDA approvals, following Amgen’s injectable Aimovig onto the CGRP migraine prevention market. 

Once Emgality scored an approval, Teva was quick to sue its rival. For its part, Lilly went on to challenge Teva’s patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, resulting in the agency nixing six of the patents and upholding the remaining three.

A Lilly spokesperson told Fierce Pharma in an emailed statement that while the company was disappointed by the verdict, it is confident that it will “ultimately prevail” in the case. The decision doesn't affect Lilly's ability to sell Emgality, the spokesperson added.

For its part, Teva is “pleased” with the decision and will continue to “vigorously defend” its intellectual property rights, a spokesperson told Fierce Pharma in an emailed statement.

Emgality raked in over $577 million for Lilly last year, while Ajovy pulled in $313 million.