By Erin Geiger Smith
NEW YORK Feb 14 A federal appeals court on
Thursday said two Cephalon Inc patents related to the cancer
drug Fentora are valid, overturning part of a lower court order
against the unit of Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
nonetheless concluded that Actavis Inc, which had
challenged the patents, did not infringe them by offering a
generic version of the drug.
Fentora dissolves in the mouth and is designed to quickly
relieve pain in cancer patients.
In 2007, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc, which later changed its
name to Actavis, sought approval to market a generic version of
Cephalon filed a lawsuit in June 2008, saying Watson's
generic version of Fentora infringed its patents.
Delaware federal judge Sue Robinson ruled in March 2011 that
Watson did not infringe the patents.
But she also said the patents were invalid because they
lacked certain disclosures that would require a party trying to
practice the invention to do too much additional
The appeals court disagreed with the latter finding, saying
Actavis failed to show that the experimentation necessary to
carry out the patented method to administer the drug would be
Actavis did not immediately respond to a request for
Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said that because of an
earlier court ruling related to another Teva patent, Actavis
cannot launch a generic version of Fentora until October 2019.
In a regulatory filing, Teva said it generated $5.5 billion
of revenue last year from the sale of central nervous system
specialty products, including Fentora.
Shares of Actavis were down 43 cents to $86.30 in afternoon
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The case is Cephalon Inc et al v. Watson Pharmaceuticals
Inc, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 11-1325.