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Teva loses bid to cancel Corcept drug patent at Federal Circuit

2 minute read

A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building is seen in Jerusalem December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/File Photo

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  • Corcept's drug Korlym used to treat effects of Cushing's syndrome
  • Teva argued related patent was invalid as obvious
  • Fed Circ upholds PTAB decision finding patent valid

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(Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceuticals suffered a fresh legal setback on Tuesday in its effort to market a generic version of the synthetic steroid Korlym to treat Cushing's syndrome.

The Israeli drugmaker failed to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board improperly denied its bid to cancel a patent held by Corcept Therapeutics covering a method for using Korlym to treat the hormone disorder.

Menlo Park, California-based Corcept last year made over $353 million from sales of Korlym, the company's only drug, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Corcept's patent relates to using a specific dose of Korlym's active ingredient mifepristone and another drug to treat Cushing's syndrome, which creates an excess of the hormone cortisol and causes high blood sugar, among other things.

Corcept sued Teva in New Jersey in 2018, alleging its proposed generic version of Korlym infringed the patent and others, in a case that is still ongoing. Teva asked the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the patent because earlier publications made it obvious that Corcept's method would work to treat the disorder.

The board ruled for Corcept last year, and Teva appealed. Teva told the Federal Circuit that the PTAB held it to an improperly high standard for proving that the patent was invalid based on prior art.

Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Kimberly Moore, joined by Circuit Judges Pauline Newman and Jimmie Reyna, rejected Teva's argument on Tuesday. Moore said the board found that a person of ordinary skill wouldn't have reasonably expected Corcept's treatment to be safe and effective before Corcept created it.

Moore also rejected Teva's argument that the prior art disclosed a range of potential dosages that covered Corcept's treatment.

Teva, Corcept and lawyers for the two companies didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc v. Corcept Therapeutics Inc, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 21-1360.

For Teva: John Rozendaal of Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox

For Corcept: Eric Stops of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

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Washington-based correspondent covering court cases, trends, and other developments in intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Previous experience at Bloomberg Law, Thomson Reuters Practical Law and work as an attorney.

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