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Lilly wins patent lawsuit on J&J Alzheimer’s research

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Eli Lilly and Co. has won a United Kingdon patent lawsuit against a Johnson & Johnson unit over a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

A patent held by J&J’s Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development unit isn’t valid, Judge Richard Arnold said in a ruling in London Tuesday. Both companies are developing treatments targeting the build-up of plaque in patients’ brains that’s linked to the condition.

Companies developing the first treatments for Alzheimer’s are competing for what might be a $20 billion market, according to a report last year by Deutsche Bank AG analysts.

“We are disappointed by the outcome of this case, and we are considering our options,” Greg Panico, a U.S. spokesman for Janssen, said in an e-mail.

Lilly is “focused on discovering and developing innovative medicines to meet the needs of patients,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “This decision by the court supports that effort.”

Lilly stock rose 23 cents Tuesday morning, to $49.29 per share.

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