WASHINGTON, Sept 12 Generic drug companies can
develop generic versions of Lovaza, a fish-oil derived drug used
to treat high cholesterol, a U.S. appeals court ruled on
In April 2009, Pronova BioPharma Norge AS filed a patent
infringement lawsuit in Delaware against Teva Pharmaceuticals
USA Inc and Par Pharmaceutical Inc, to
prevent them from bringing out a generic version of Lovaza.
The drug is marketed in the United States by GlaxoSmithKline
Plc. Glaxo's U.S. sales of the drug were $916 million in
2011. German chemicals firm BASF bought Pronova this
A judge in Delaware agreed that Pronova's two patents for
the drug were valid and would be infringed by a generic product.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
disagreed with the lower court, ruling that one of that patents
was invalid. Since the other expired in March, the appeals court
reversed the lower court's decision.
However, the decision can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme