asks Supreme Court to stay ruling in Copaxone case
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[April 08, 2014]
By Lawrence Hurley
— Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to stop a
lower court ruling from going into effect while the justices
consider an appeal in a patent fight over Teva's top-selling
multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.
On March 31, the high court agreed to hear Teva's
appeal of a July 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit in favor of two teams developing cheaper generic
forms of Copaxone: one involving Novartis AG's Sandoz Inc and
Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc, and the other involving Mylan Inc and
Natco Pharma Ltd.
The appeals court had upheld some of the nine patents involved in
the drug, or portions of them, but declared several invalid, meaning
patent protections were set to expire in May 2014 instead of
The company's lawyers said in the court filing that if the appeals
court ruling was not stayed, "Teva's innovative and widely
prescribed treatment for multiple sclerosis will lose protection."
The Supreme Court will not be hearing oral arguments in the Teva
case until its 2014 term begins in October. A ruling could come as
late as June 2015. If the court does not act on the stay
application, the ruling could come "effectively too late to prevent
irreparable harm to Teva," the lawyers said.
The stay application was directed to Chief Justice John Roberts. He
is likely to ask the other litigants for a response before deciding
how to proceed.
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Teva is currently trying to switch patients over to a new version
of Copaxone, which is the company's most important product.
The case is Teva v. Sandoz, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-854.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; editing by Howard Goller and Jeffrey
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