PHARMACY

Court rules in favor of Depomed in AcuForm case

BY Drew Buono

MENLO PARK, Calif. Depomed has won summary judgment in a U.S. District Court in a patent infringement case against IVAX, according to published reports. The case involved two patents related to the diabetic drug metformin hydrochloride ER.

Depomed said the U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of California, Charles Breyer, ruled that two of the company’s patents were infringed upon and therefore denied all of IVAX’s summary judgment motions.

Carl Pelzel, Depomed’s president and chief executive officer, said the company is “very pleased with the court’s ruling, which we believe has significantly strengthened our case going to trial.”

In January 2006, Depomed sued IVAX for infringement concerning its extended release metformin hydrochloride tablets. The patents are held by Depomed and relate to the company’s AcuForm drug delivery technology, the company said. AcuForm is used to improve treatment tolerability and enhanced compliance and efficacy.

No trial date has been schedule yet.

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FDA approves Teva’s generic Trileptal

BY Drew Buono

The Food and Drug Administration has granted final approval to Teva for its application to market a generic version of Trileptal, by Novartis, for the treatment of epilepsy.

The generic, oxcarbazepine, will be available in 150, 300 and 600 mg tablets. Teva will begin shipping the drug in the near future.

Teva is currently involved in patent litigation concerning this product in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. A trial date has not been set.

The brand product had annual sales of approximately $690 million in the United States for the twelve months ended Sept. 30, 2007, based on IMS sales data.

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Biogen’s lack of buyer interest triggers stock price dive

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Biogen has reported that after two months of looking for a potential buyer, it has turned up no serious offers, which led to a 27 percent drop in the company’s shares, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Biogen said in a statement that it “did not receive any definitive offers to purchase the company” and would abandon exploration of a sale. Within a few minutes of the announcement, Biogen lost nine months of increasing business by buyout rumors.

Pharmaceutical firms may have been discouraged by Biogen’s high price—its market value had grown to $25 billion after the company announced its intention to sell. Last month, Sanofi-Aventis’ chief executive called Biogen’s price “a little high.”

Biogen has three main drugs on the market—Avonex and Tysabri for multiple sclerosis and Rituxan for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Some analysts said uncertainties about the future of the drugs were too great for buyers. Tysabri has been linked to a rare brain disorder, prompting close regulatory scrutiny.

The stock price fell from $75.88 to $55.50 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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