Lilly gets patent support from appeals court

Eli Lilly just saw two key franchises shored up in court--at least for now. An appeals court affirmed a lower court's injunction against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' copycat form of Evista, Lilly's blockbuster bone and cancer treatment. Judges also backed a temporary injunction against generic versions of the ADHD drug Strattera, giving Lilly time to appeal a lower court's decision.

On Evista, the appeals court backed the drug's protections through 2014, despite Teva's claims that the method-of-use patents were invalid. The judges joined the lower court in rejecting the patents that extend through 2017. So, Lilly won't face generic competition for Evista for a while--good news for the drugmaker, as the product racked up $1 billion in sales last year and $259.5 million during the most recent quarter.

Meanwhile, the same court extended the temporary blockade against copycat Strattera. A lower court recently held that Strattera's patent was invalid; Lilly had expected the patent to expire in 2017. The drugmaker is appealing the decision as a handful of generics makers wait in the wings with their versions of the drug.

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