WASHINGTON, July 26 Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries' multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone will lose its
patent protection in 2014 rather than 2015 because of a ruling
from a U.S. appeals court Friday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its
decision in a patent fight between Teva and rivals
Sandoz and Mylan Inc.
The result is that a generic version of Copaxone can be
launched in May 2014, a year early.
"We are very pleased with today's ruling and we expect that
it will allow Mylan to launch its generic version of Copaxone on
May 25, 2014," Mylan Chief Executive Heather Bresch said in a
Teva and Sandoz did not immediately comment on the ruling.
Both Sandoz, a generic division of Novartis, and
Mylan had notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that
they wanted to bring out generic versions of Copaxone. Teva sued
to block them and protect its patents.
Patents on Copaxone, which accounts for about 20 percent of
Teva's sales and about 50 percent of its profit, had been set to
expire in September 2015.