Eli Lilly loses UK Alimta patent case to Actavis

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[May 15, 2014]  LONDON (Reuters) Eli Lilly and Co LLY.N said on Thursday it lost a patent case in the English High Court over its blockbuster Alimta lung cancer drug to generic drugmaker Actavis Plc ACT.N.

The court ruled that Actavis would not infringe dosage patents held by Lilly if it marketed certain alternative salt forms of the drug in Britain and several other European countries when Alimta compound patents expire in 2015.

Lilly also has further UK patents valid to 2021.

The court granted corresponding declarations of non-infringement regarding Alimta's vitamin dosage regimen patents in France, Italy and Spain.

Lilly said it intended to appeal the decision.

Lilly is fighting other suits against the Alimta patent. A regional court in Germany recently ruled for Lilly on Alimta's vitamin dosage regimen patent. That case is under appeal.

In Indianapolis, where Lilly is based, a court is weighing the patent on the way the drug is administered in a case brought by generics maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd TEVA.TA. If Lilly wins, it would extend its hold on Alimta until 2022.

Lilly's global sales of lung cancer drug Alimta were $632 million in the first quarter.

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(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Tom Bergin)

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