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Lilly wins court ban on generic copy of Gemzar

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Eli Lilly and Co. won a U.S. court ruling Wednesday that bars Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from selling a generic version of the cancer drug Gemzar until November.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis, where Lilly is based, rejected Teva’s claims that the patent was invalid and unenforceable. The drug, approved by regulators in 1996, generated $1.36 billion in sales last year.

The ruling gives Lilly time to pursue an appeal over a second patent that expires in 2013. A federal judge in Michigan, in a case involving generic-drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., last year said the second patent was invalid. Arguments before an appeals court in Washington, D.C., are scheduled for May.

Teva, the world’s biggest generic-drug maker, also was challenging the invalidity of the latter patent. Barker ruled that Lilly can’t assert the 2013 patent against Petah Tikva, Israel-based Teva because of the earlier ruling in Michigan.

Teva said Thursday in an e-mailed statement that it believes it was first to challenge the 2010 patent and thus will be able to introduce a generic version of the drug without any other competition for 180 days when the patent expires.

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