Drug giant Pfizer has announced that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld its two main US patents covering the painkiller Celebrex® (celecoxib).
The company said the patents for the selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine, which is used to treat pain and inflammation, had been challenged by generic manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.
The panel ruled that the patents covering the active ingredient, and a pharmaceutical composition of it, are valid.
It said the protection was therefore enforceable, and was infringed by the generic manufacturer’s product.
In the same decision, the court also ruled that a third patent covering use in treatin inflammation was invalid.
The decision prohibits Teva from launching a competitor drug in the USA until May 2014. Either party can now request a rehearing by the Court of Appeals, or a review by the US Supreme Court.
Celebrex was approved by the FDA in 1998, and its sales reached $1.7bn in the US last year.
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