May 3, 2011

Eli Lilly & Co. Wins Court Ruling to Prevent Release of Generic Cymbalta Until Patent Expiration

Indianapolis, Indiana - Patent attorneys for Eli Lilly & Company of Indianapolis successfully blocked the release of generic versions of the anti-depression drug Cymbalta until the expiration of Lilly's patent for the drug. Last week, Judge Tonya Walton Pratt of the Southern District of Indiana entered an order blocking eight competitor drug companies from releasing their generic versions of Cymbalta until Lilly's patent expires. Lilly had been involved in this patent infringement lawsuit since 2008. The competitor drugs companies must also agree to notify the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they will not seek approval for their generic drugs until Lilly's patent expires. The patent at issue, Patent No. 5,023,269, which has been issued by the US Patent Office, is due to expire in June 2013, but may be extended.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Lilly reported $2.77 billion in U.S. sales of Cymbalta in 2010. Lilly faces the expiration of several important revenue-generating patents in the next few years, including Cymbalta, Zyprexia, and Humalog.

The case was Eli Lilly & Company v. Wockhardt Limited et al., case number 1:08-cv-1547-TWP-TAB in the Southern District of Indiana before Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

and Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker.