IBJNews

Lilly suing J&J for patent rights in Alzheimer's drug race

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co. is seeking to revoke a patent held by a Johnson & Johnson unit, arguing at a London court it might delay availability of a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Both companies have drugs in development that use antibodies to target the build-up of plaque in patients’ brains. Lilly argues its treatment, solanezumab, doesn’t infringe a patent held by J&J’s Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development LLC, according to court documents.

“An effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has been elusive, despite massive efforts to find one,” Indianapolis-based Lilly said in the documents. The trial, which started Wednesday, “could dictate whether Lilly’s treatment for AD is available to patients in the [United Kingdom] before the expiry of the patent in November 2018, or possibly longer.”

Drug companies are vying to find the first working treatment for a condition that is expected to affect 65 million people worldwide by 2030, causing loss of memory, mood changes, dementia and brain damage. There have been 101 clinical trial failures since 1998, according to the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America.

“The patent is valid and the claimant is not entitled to a declaration of non-infringement,” Janssen said in court documents from the trial.

Lilly’s UK media relations team didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment. Greg Panico, a U.S. spokesman for Janssen, declined to immediately comment.

Janssen’s drug, bapineuzumab, cost more than $500 million to research and ended up “a costly failure,” Lilly lawyer Andrew Waugh told the court Wednesday, citing clinical trial results.

Lilly is proceeding with its treatment, he said. “One of the reasons it hasn’t failed is because it works by a different mechanism to that which is described in the patent.”

Derica Rice, Lilly’s chief financial officer, said in an April earnings call the company would hold another pivotal trial for solanezumab this year.

While solanezumab failed to meet the main goal of two large studies, an analysis of the data from that research found it did slow progression in people with milder stages of Alzheimer’s. The new study, looking only at those patients, will start by the third quarter of 2013, Lilly said in December.

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher said earlier this month the French drugmaker won’t pursue an Alzheimer’s treatment because the science isn’t advanced enough to justify the cost.

The first Alzheimer’s drugs, if successful, would lead to a market worth $20 billion, Barbara Ryan, a former Deutsche Bank analyst estimated last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Competitive drug companies
    Memo-Johnson and Johnson (Risperdal) and,Eli Lilly (Zyprexa) were competitive atypical antipsychotics that got both companies sued for hundreds of millions in damage claims.--Daniel Haszard Zyprexa victim.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT