Orexo soars after winning opioid drug appeal against Teva
(Adds Orexo comment)
By Jonathan Stempel
Sept 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Monday revived
Swedish pharmaceutical company Orexo AB's lawsuit
accusing a unit of Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
of infringing a patent for its opioid addiction drug
Shares of Orexo closed 30.9 percent higher in Stockholm
after the decision by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
in Washington, D.C., which handles intellectual property cases.
Teva is one of the world's largest makers of generic drugs.
Lawyers for its Actavis Elizabeth unit, the defendant in
Orexo's lawsuit, did not immediately respond to requests for
Opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin,
played a role in 42,249 U.S. deaths in 2016, according to the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials and politicians often characterize opioid
abuse as a serious public health problem or epidemic.
Orexo sued after the Teva unit applied with the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration to market a generic version of Zubsolv,
which the Swedish company said was patent-protected until 2032.
While both sides agreed that the product covered by Orexo's
patent made it easier to treat opioid abuse, a lower court judge
found the patent unenforceable because the ingredients were
generally known or easily determined.
But the appeals court said the Teva unit failed to establish
by "clear and convincing evidence" that Orexo's patent claims
were "obvious" and should therefore be voided.
Circuit Judge Pauline Newman said Orexo's patent provided a
"significant improvement" for treating opioid addiction, and
that its "novel formulation" allowed patients to reduce dosages
and lower dependency.
"Although the need to reduce this abuse was known,
recognizing a need does not render the solution obvious," Newman
The appeals court returned Orexo's case to U.S. District
Judge Sue Robinson in Delaware for further proceedings.
Orexo said the decision does not change its 2018 financial
The case is Orexo AB et al v Actavis Elizabeth LLC, U.S.
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 2017-1333.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York
Editing by Susan Thomas and Matthew Lewis)
First Published: 2018-09-10 19:42:16
Updated 2018-09-10 21:11:28
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