Health News

Teva accuses Lilly in U.S. court of infringing migraine drug patents

FILE PHOTO: A building belonging to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's biggest generic drugmaker and Israel's largest company, is seen in Jerusalem February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

BOSTON (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has filed a patent infringement lawsuit seeking to block Eli Lilly and Co from bringing its migraine drug galcanezumab to market in the United States.

In the lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in Boston, Teva said Lilly’s planned drug would infringe five patents that cover the Israeli drugmaker’s own migraine drug, which it sought U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for on Oct. 16.

Teva said Indianapolis-based Lilly was aware of the patents covering its drug, fremanezumab, but was nonetheless seeking to launch its competing galcanezumab product as soon as it received FDA approval.

The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction that would prevent Lilly from manufacturing or selling the drug. Lilly on Tuesday confirmed it had submitted an application to the FDA to market galcanezumab.

Lilly declined to comment on Wednesday. Teva did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

About 40 million Americans suffer from migraines - intense headaches characterized by throbbing pain and sensitivity to light and nausea. The disorder, which can last for days, is incurable.

The size of the migraine market is expected to balloon to more than $10 billion in annual sales in 2025 from $3 billion in 2015 in the United States and other developed countries, healthcare research firm Decision Resources Group said last year.

A clutch of drugmakers are racing to grab a piece of the lucrative, under-served market and are developing similar drugs to target calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, a protein involved in pain-signaling during migraine.

The case is Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH v. Eli Lilly and Company, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 17-cv-12087.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Tom Brown