A US Appeals Court recently ruled that a patent on Takeda Pharmaceutical’s chemotherapy drug Velcade used to treat bone marrow cancer is valid. Velcade has been used to treat over 550,000 patients worldwide and equated to $1.13 billion of US sales in 2016.
This latest decision reverses an earlier 2015 decision from a lower US court which ruled the patent was invalid as the compound it covered was the result of an obvious process. Generic companies (including Teva, Mylan and Novartis) had tried to invalidate Takeda’s patents on Velcade after Takeda sued them for patent infringement. If the 2015 ruling had of been upheld it would have resulted in competition from generic versions of Velcade from rival companies from late 2017 and a loss in revenue for Takeda.
The 2017 US appeals court ruling is good news for Takeda at it will allow market exclusivity for Takeda to sell Velcade until the patent expires in 2022 blocking generic drug makers from producing generic versions of Velcade until it comes off patent.