SAN FRANCISCO Jan 14 A Texas judge has upheld
U.S. patents covering Allergan Inc's Lumigan glaucoma
drug through 2027, the company said in a regulatory filing on
Tuesday, helping to send its shares up 6 percent.
Separately on Tuesday, Allergan, which also makes
wrinkle-fixing Botox, said it had been issued a new U.S. patent,
expiring in 2024, covering its Restasis eye drops.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas ruled in favor of Allergan in a patent infringement case
filed against several drugmakers seeking to market generic
versions of the 0.1 percent formulation of Lumigan.
That formulation of the drug was introduced in 2010 to
replace a stronger 0.3 percent solution that caused some
patients to temporarily experience red eyes.
"We believe with these two developments, the two biggest
overhangs to the Allergan story will be removed," BMO Capital
Markets analyst David Maris said in a research note.
Allergan Chief Executive Officer David Pyott, in comments e
at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, said the Texas court
decision upholds Allergan's five Lumigan patents through 2027,
but "of course this will get appealed."
He added that Allergan can maintain exclusivity of the drug
as long as one of the patents is ultimately upheld.
Pyott said Allergan is unaware of whether any generic
drugmakers have sought U.S. regulatory approval to sell copies
Sales of Allergan's eye care pharmaceuticals totaled $2.12
billion in the first nine months of last year.
Pyott said Allergan, which last year spent $1 billion to
acquire MAP Pharmaceuticals and its Levadex experimental
migraine drug, remains interested in acquiring new companies or
products, particularly in areas like neurology and urologics,
where it is not already a dominant player.
"In opthalmics and medical aesthetics, everyone already
comes to us," he said.
Allergan is not interested in adding slow-growth segments to
its product mix, he said, adding that any deal "would have to
have the potential for double-digit growth."
Shares of Allergan, based in Irvine, California, rose $6.80,
or 6 percent, to close at $121.22 on the New York Stock