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Lilly wins further delay in sales of Strattera copies

August 26, 2010

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., the world’s biggest maker of psychiatric drugs, has won a court order extending the ban on generic versions of the attention-deficit treatment Strattera while it appeals a patent ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Thursday said a temporary order imposed last week will continue to allow the court to consider whether copies should be banned until the appeal is decided. The lower court order was set to expire in two weeks.

The court, which specializes in patent law, also set a 35-day schedule for written arguments that would ensure the appeal is heard quickly. Strattera generated U.S. sales of $445.6 million last year, and each day that Lilly can fend off generic competition would translate into an average $1.22 million in sales.

U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh this month invalidated a patent on the medicine, opening the door for generic copies by as many as 10 companies, including Mylan Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit.

Generic-drug makers who had challenged the Strattera patent were Synthon BV; Iceland’s Actavis Group hf; Canada’s Apotex Inc.; and India’s Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Cadila Healthcare Ltd.’s Zydus.
 

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