Court rules in favor of Lilly’s Alimta patents

The UK Supreme Court on Friday ruled that generic drugmaker Actavis’s versions of Eli Lilly and Company’s top-selling cancer drug Alimta directly infringe on certain Lilly patents in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

Alimta is Lilly’s top-selling oncology treatment and generated sales of $2.3 billion last year, according to Reuters.

“… the UK Supreme Court has decided in the litigation relating to alternative salt forms of Alimta (pemetrexed disodium) that Actavis’s products directly infringe Lilly’s vitamin regimen patents in the UK, France, Italy and Spain,” said Lilly.

“The UK Supreme Court also affirmed the indirect infringement finding by the UK Court of Appeal.

“The full judgment is scheduled to be handed down on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 …

“In June of 2015, the UK Court of Appeal ruled the Alimta vitamin regimen patent would be indirectly infringed when the generic product is reconstituted or diluted in saline, but not directly infringed under the doctrine of equivalents.

“Following this decision, Actavis launched pemetrexed Armisarte, previously Pemetrexed Actavis, at risk.

“Today’s announcement by the UK Supreme Court finds the Actavis product infringing, regardless of the diluent used in reconstitution or dilution.”

Michael Harrington, general counsel for Lilly, said: “While we do not yet know the court’s reasoning, we are pleased with the UK Supreme Court’s key conclusions that confirm the Alimta vitamin regimen patent would be infringed by these generic pemetrexed products in the UK, France, Italy and Spain prior to June 2021.”

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd owns the generic versions of Alimta in question after buying Allergan Plc’s generic business Actavis last August, Reuters reported.