Patent fur flies for Wyeth, Lilly, Teva

There's been a flurry of drug-patent activity over the last 24 hours, with drugmakers winning, losing, and launching infringement battles. In a last-ditch effort to keep generic versions of its Zosyn antibiotic off the market, Wyeth sued FDA, claiming agency approval of a copycat endangers patients.

By early this morning, Orchid Chemicals--which is making that generic--announced that a D.C. court denied Wyeth's motion for a temporary restraining order. The Indian generics maker said it will continue to distribute its version of Zosyn. "Wyeth will do what it has to do and we will do what we have to do," Orchid's managing director told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Eli Lilly won a dispute with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries over its Evista osteoporosis treatment. A federal judge ruled that Lilly's method-of-use patents on Evista effectively block Teva's efforts to sell its version of the bone-loss drug. Lilly says the ruling protects Evista through March 2014--and that's a big deal, because Evista's officially a blockbuster, posting $1.8 billion in 2008 sales. Teva says it will appeal.

Finally, Astellas Pharma is suing Teva for infringing its patents on Vesicare, an overactive bladder treatment. The drug is Astellas' third-largest, with $339.2 million in North American sales for the year ended March 31, Reuters reports. Teva had applied for FDA approval for its version of the product.

- find the Lilly release
- read the Reuters story
- get more from the Wall Street Journal
- see the Indianapolis Star article
- check out the MarketWatch coverage
- find the Astellas news at Reuters