A patent infringement suit has been filed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR)(NYSE:TEVA) seeking to have Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) blocked from introducing galcanezumab, a migraine drug, into the U.S. market. The lawsuit was filed in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday.
According to Teva the move by Eli Lilly would constitute an infringement of five patents held by the Israeli pharmaceutical firm and which cover its own migraine treatment. Teva sought approval for its migraine drug, fremanezumab, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a little over a week ago. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based drug maker said that Eli Lilly was fully aware that Teva held patents that covered fremanezumab and yet went ahead to unveil galcanezumab upon getting the approval of the FDA.
Damages and injunction
In the lawsuit, Teva is seeking damages as well as an injunction which would see Eli Lilly prevented from either manufacturing or marketing the migraine drug. On Tuesday Eli Lilly confirmed that a submission to market galcanezumab had been submitted to the FDA.
Approximately 40 million people in the United States suffer from intense headaches whose symptoms include throbbing pain as well as sensitivity to nausea and light. These migraines are currently incurable and can be experienced for days.
By 2025 the migraine market is expected to have grown to be worth over $10 billion in the U.S. and other developed economies. Two years ago the migraine market was generating annual sales of approximately $3 billion according to Decision Resources Group, a healthcare research firm.
In another patent battle that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has waged in the United Kingdom against Mylan N.V.(NASDAQ:MYL) seeking to protect its blockbuster drug Copaxone, the Israeli drugmaker lost a challenge after the U.K. High Court of Justice sided with Mylan.
Already Mylan has received approvals to produce a generic version of Copaxone in Europe as well as in the United States. This was disclosed earlier this month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Mylan’s application to make generic copies of both the 40 mg Copaxone as well as the 20 mg Copaxone.
On Thursday shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries fell by 1.72% to close the day at $13.69.