Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. sued rival drugmaker Hospira Inc. to prevent it from selling a generic version of the
cancer drug Gemzar before a patent on the medicine expires in 2013.
Hospira is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a copy of the medicine. Lilly filed the complaint in federal court in Indianapolis on Tuesday seeking a court order blocking approval, claiming infringement of two patents.
The patent for a method of treating tumors has already been deemed invalid by a federal judge in Detroit. Lilly is appealing that decision. Another Lilly patent ensures a generic version can’t enter the market until November.
Dan Rosenberg, a spokesman for Lake Forest, Ill.-based Hospira, declined to comment on the litigation.
“As a world leader in generic injectable drugs, we remain committed to bringing high quality, lower cost products to market as soon as possible,” Rosenberg said.
Lilly has also sued Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and others to stop a generic version of Gemzar.