(Adds description of the drug in third paragraph.)
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s Cephalon unit won an appeals court decision that prevents Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. from selling a generic copy of the painkiller Fentora until 2019.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington today upheld the validity of a Cephalon patent on Fentora and backed a lower court ruling that Watson infringed the patent. The appeals court posted a notice of the decision on its website without a formal opinion explaining its findings.
Fentora is approved to relieve sudden episodes of cancer pain in adults already taking opioids, or morphine-like drugs. Cephalon has said the patent that was upheld expires in 2019 and is for a process of making the tablet dissolve.
The drug generated $81 million in U.S. sales in the first half, Cephalon said in August. Petah Tikva, Israel-based Teva bought Cephalon in October.
The case is Cephalon Inc. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., 09cv724, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).
--Editors: Romaine Bostick, James Callan
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