(CN) – The Federal Circuit upheld pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s permanent injunction against generic versions of its osteoporosis drug.
Lilly sued Teva Pharmaceuticals to prevent the manufacture and distribution of Evista, which Lilly designed to help post-menopausal women avoid bone fractures.
Teva argued that Lilly’s patents were obvious and based on prior references.
The district court disagreed, ruling that bioavailability concerns would have precluded a person of ordinary skill from expecting that the active ingredient in Evista would be successful in treating osteoporosis.
Teva appealed, contending that Dr. Alan Schreiber of the University of Pennsylvania had determined that the ingredient was available enough in the human body to be used to treat autoimmune disorders.
Chief Judge Randall Rader did not agree, and affirmed the district court’s decision.
“The record, however, does not leave this court with a ‘definite and firm conviction’ that the district court made a mistake. The record simply does not contain sufficient evidence that would allow this court to conclude that Dr. Schreiber’s decision to continue to suggest (the ingredient) as a treatment of autoimmune disorders in the face of bioavailability concerns would influence a person of ordinary skill to pursue a treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis,” Rader ruled.
The injunction will remain in place until the expiration of Lilly’s relevant patents.