The court battle continues in Europe for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. and a competitor. The German Federal Supreme Court has agreed to send a patent infringement case involving Lilly’s vitamin regimen for the cancer treatment Alimta back to a lower court.
Lilly says a competitor, Actavis, wants to market a dipotassium salt form of pemetrexed in Germany.
Lilly General Council Michael Harrington says "we are pleased with the ruling by the German Federal Supreme Court granting our appeal regarding infringement of Alimta’s vitamin regimen patent in Germany. This ruling supports our continuing belief that Alimta’s vitamin regimen patent would be infringed by the entry of generic pemetrexed products, including alternative salt forms, in Europe prior to June 2021. We continue to emphasize that protection of intellectual property rights is extremely important to the biopharmaceutical industry and the patients we serve. Intellectual property rights provide assurances of market exclusivity that help support the development of the next generation of innovative medicines to treat unmet medical needs."
The Supreme Court action means a previous decision by the German Court of Appeal is vacated. In March of 2015, the appeals court ruled that the vitamin regimen patent for Alimta was not being infringed upon by Actavis, which is marketing the alternative form.
Lilly holds patent protection for the Alimta vitamin regimen until June 2021.