PHARMACY

Pfizer wins Caduet patent suit over Ranbaxy

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has ruled in favor of Pfizer in a patent infringement suit involving Ranbaxy Laboratories and the drug Caduet, which is a combination drug used to treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Pfizer filed suit in March alleging that a generic version of the drug proposed by Ranbaxy would infringe on two of its patents. The patents are for the drug Lipitor, which is one of the main ingredients in the drug along with Norvasc and the other patent covers the drug combination. The patents expire in 2010 and 2018, respectively.

Ranbaxy filed counterclaims sought declaratory judgments that that both patents were not infringed and therefore not valid. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had upheld the patent for Lipitor. The court therefore granted Pfizer’s motion to dismiss the counterclaim.

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Court overturns $3 million jury award against Wyeth’s Prempro

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA A judge has overturned a jury’s decision to award a woman $3 million for claiming that Wyeth’s hormone-replacement drug Prempro caused her breast cancer, according to the Associated Press. The judge said the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to show that the company acted negligently.

Only four of about 1,500 cases pending in Philadelphia have gone to trial. Each time, a jury sided with the plaintiff only to have the judge reverse the verdict, lawyer Tobi Millrood said. The plaintiff, Jennie Nelson plans on appealing the decision to the state Superior Court.

Nelson had claimed that she was diagnosed in 2001 after taking the drug for five years to treat symptoms of menopause. Her lawyers argued that the manufacturer Wyeth had knowledge the drug caused cancer, yet failed to issue adequate warnings.

This is in contrast to a recent decision in Nevada that saw Wyeth lose a verdict to three women who made the same claims. The women won $134 million in that case.

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Sun Pharma, Novartis reach agreement on Exelon

BY Drew Buono

MUMBAI, India Sun Pharmaceuticals and Novartis have reached an out-of-court settlement in relation to Novartis’ Alzheimer’s drug Exelon, according to published reports.

“Under the terms of the settlement, Sun Pharma will not market generic Exelon in the U.S. until sometime prior to the expiration of the patents covering Exelon. The specific date on which Sun may launch and the other terms of the agreement are confidential,” said Sun Pharma in a statement.

Sun Pharma, being one of the first to file an application to sell generic Exelon in the U.S, was eligible to share a 180-day marketing exclusivity on the drug. However, had it launched its generic version of Exelon before reaching an agreement with Novartis, it would have done so at risk of damage claims by Novartis for patent infringement.

Exelon had sales of about $200 million last year in the U.S.

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