Pfizer’s Lyrica patent appeal fails in UK

Pfizer has suffered a blow in the UK after the Court of Appeal ruled that generics did not infringe a patent covering its pain drug Lyrica.

Actavis and other generics firms market generics of Lyrica (pregabalin) but only in pain and neuropathic pain, where there is a gap in Pfizer’s patent defences for Lyrica.

Lyrica is one of Pfizer’s biggest selling drugs, with worldwide sales approaching $5 billion annually.

The main EU patent on Lyrica expired in 2014, but Pfizer has set up a thicket of other usage patents in a bid to fend off generics.

But the Court of Appeal in London affirmed a High Court decision upholding that a patent covering Lyrica for pain is not infringed by Actavis, and finding patent claims directed generally to pain and neuropathic pain invalid.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court’s decision upholding Pfizer’s patents directed to certain types of pain, including acute herpetic pain, postherpetic pain and causalgia pain.

In a statement, Pfizer said it will appeal the latest decision to the Supreme Court.

Actavis is now part of Teva, after the Israeli company bought the generics business from Allergan.

But its UK and Ireland business is to be sold to India’s Intas Pharmaceuticals in order to comply with EU anti-trust requirements.

Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.