Allergan wins round in patent fight over Lumigan

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:48pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 28 (Reuters) - Specialty pharmaceutical company Allergan Inc won a round in a patent fight against two generic drug makers on Monday when an appeals court found a key portion of the patent for its glaucoma drug, Lumigan, was valid.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also ruled that Sandoz, the generic unit of Novartis AG, and Teva would infringe that patent if they went through with plans to sell a generic version of Lumigan.

The appeals court upheld a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Delaware.

Allergan is best-known for its anti-wrinkle treatment, Botox, but has one of the industry's biggest arrays of prescription eye medicines. Lumigan, which treats glaucoma, has annual sales of more than $600 million.

Lumigan and Allergan's Latisse, which is made of the same chemicals, cause eyelashes to grow thicker and darker.

Allergan and Teva could not immediately be reached for comment while a spokesman for Novartis declined comment.

The case is at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It is Allergan, Inc v. Barr Laboratories, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz, Inc. The case number is 2012-1040, -1054.

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