Shire wins Lialda patent fight with Allergan, patent upheld until 2020

A US court has upheld Shire’s patent on its Lialda (mesalamine) ulcerative colitis delayed release tablets, in a legal tussle with Allergan subsidiaries Watson Pharma and Watson Laboratories.

Watson had challenged the patent on Lialda in a bid to launch a generic rival, but the US District Court for Southern Florida on Monday upheld the patent lasting until 8 June, 2020.

Judge Donald Middlebrooks entered an injunction prohibiting the US regulator approving a generic competitor until the patent expires, and an injunction preventing Allergan from making, using, selling or importing a generic until patent expiry.

Lialda, which is used to induce and maintain remission of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, is one of Shire’s more important drugs, generating $684.4 million in sales last year and contributing 11% to total sales.

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