U.S. Supreme Court rejects patent appeal over Cubicin drug

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc’s bid to revive four patents for its antibiotic drug Cubicin, paving the way for rival Hospira Inc to introduce a generic version as soon as this year.

The high court left in place a November ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upholding a lower court ruling invaliding four of five patents held by Merck & Co Inc-owned Cubist, which were challenged by Pfizer Inc-owned Hospira.

The appeals court decided that four of the patents, expiring in 2019 and 2020, were invalid, and that one, expiring in June of this year, was valid, meaning Hospira can move forward with plans for a generic version of the drug.

Cubicin is an antibiotic injection used in hospitals to treat bacterial skin infections.