Court Upholds Patent for Lou Gehrig’s Disease Drug

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A generic drug manufacturer failed to convince the Federal Circuit that Aventis Pharmaceuticals’ patent for the treatment for Lou Gehrig’s Disease is unenforceable.

     Aventis patented the use of riluzole to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
     Impax Laboratories sought to market riluzole tablets and challenged Aventis’ patent as unenforceable.
     The district court originally ruled that Impax had not proven that Aventis’ patent was unenforceable due to inequitable conduct.
     After an appeal to the Federal Circuit, the district court made a second ruling that another patent did not qualify as an enabling prior art and did not anticipate Aventis’ patent.
     “In order to anticipate a claimed invention,” Judge Rader wrote, “a prior art reference must enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make the invention without undue experimentation.
     “Nothing in the patent would direct one skilled in the art to recognize that riluzole could be used to treat (Lou Gehrig’s Disease),” Rader added.

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