Rival's lawsuit could delay launch of new Lilly insulin

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co. may have to wait an extra year or more to launch a once-a-day insulin for diabetics after a rival drugmaker said Lilly’s plans violate the patents it holds on the drug Lantus.

Paris-based Sanofi sued Lilly on Thursday in federal court in Delaware. That suit triggers an automatic 30-month delay on Lilly’s plans to launch a similar version of Lantus—unless Lilly can win in court before that time.

Indianapolis-based Lilly had planned to launch its generic-like version of Lantus—which is known as insulin glargine—next year after Lantus’ patents expire on Feb. 12, 2015.

Sanofi, in a statement, said it decided to sue after a Lilly regulatory filing in December challenged the validity of six of the seven patents Sanofi holds on Lantus.

Lantus currently generates $7 billion a year in sales, making it one of the best-selling drugs in the world. Lilly’s failure to launch a similar drug—even 14 years after Lantus hit the market—has been a financial hindrance and an embarrassment to Lilly, which pioneered the first insulin in the 1920s.

Lilly sells insulins that must be taken multiple times per day, but diabetic patients prefer to limit the number of injections they must take, giving the once-a-day Lantus an edge. Lilly rival Novo Nordisk A/S launched its once-a-day insulin, called Levemir, in 2005.

Lilly filed for market approval of its insulin glargine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration using a regulatory pathway that allows it to refer to the safety and efficacy studies conducted for Lantus, as well as submitting some of its own clinical trial data of its drug. Lilly’s insulin glargine would be a “biosimilar” version of Lantus.

"Lilly respects the intellectual property of others and does not believe the application for approval of its new insulin glargine product infringes any valid claim of the asserted patents," said Doug Norman, Lilly’s general patent counsel, in a prepared statement.

According to a report by Reuters, a research analyst recently said that a 30-month delay would raise Sanofi's earnings per share from 2015 through 2020 by about 6 percent and lower Lilly's earnings per share for the period by about 2 percent.

A delay in the launch of a cheaper, generic-like version of Lantus would also give Sanofi more time, Reuters noted, to switch patients to a new and yet-to-be-approved long-acting drug known as U300.


Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?