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Court rules in favor of Pfizer, Northwestern University in Lyrica patent case

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A district court ruled in favor of Pfizer and Northwestern University in a patent infringement case relating to Lyrica (pregabalin).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware upheld the drug maker’s composition of matter patent and pain and seizure use patents covering the drug. With this, Pfizer will exclusively provide pregabalin as Lyrica to patients through Dec. 30, 2018 in the United States, pending generic company appeal and further litigation. Pfizer and Northwestern University, which owns the patents covering the active ingredient pregabalin and the use for treating seizure disorders, filed suit in 2009 against the generic companies that applied to the FDA to market a generic version of Lyrica prior to the expiration of the patents covering pregabalin and its use. Litigation on the same patents remains pending against other generic companies, but no trials have been scheduled in these later cases.

"The court’s decision recognizes the infringement and validity of our Lyrica patents and affirms the value of Lyrica as a distinct and important innovation for patients," said Amy Schulman, EVP and general counsel for Pfizer. "Protecting our intellectual property is vital to our ability to develop new medicines that save and enhance patient lives."

Three separate patents are at issue in this case: U.S. Patent No. 6,197,819 covers the active ingredient pregabalin and expires Dec. 30, 2018; U.S. Patent No. 5,563,175 covers a method for using pregabalin to treat seizure disorders and expires Oct. 8, 2013; U.S. Patent No. RE 41,920 covers methods for using pregabalin to treat pain and expires Dec. 30, 2018.

As previously reported, the Food and Drug Administration approved Lupin Pharmaceuticals’ generic version of a drug earlier this month.


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FDA approves new COPD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by Forest Labs for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the agency said.

The FDA announced the approval of Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide) for the long-term maintenance of COPD-related narrowing of the airways in the lung, also known as bronchospasm. The drug is an inhaled dry powder used twice per day.

"COPD is a serious disease that gets worse over time," FDA Office of Drug Evaluation II director Curtis Rosebraugh said. "The availability of long-term maintenance drugs for COPD provides additional treatment options for the millions of people who suffer with this debilitating disease."


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Sabona of London introduces point-of-sale Christmas display

BY Allison Cerra

SIKESTON, Mo. — Sabona of London is offering an in-store retail display as part of its marketing support program for retail partners.

Sabona’s point-of-sale Christmas display holds 12 pieces of Sabona magnetic bracelets in the most popular styles. The display features a user-friendly, interchangeable graphic, allowing retail partners to use the same display year-round, yet highlight Christmas during the appropriate sales period.

The assortment of Sabona magnetic bracelets, which feature stainless steel, gold plating and 1200 gauss samarium cobalt magnets, carry a suggested retail price of $19.99.

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