Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY:US) and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) won’t have an easier time gaining more of the market for blood thinners dominated by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY:US)’s Plavix after the drug lost U.S. patent protection yesterday.
Lilly’s Effient and AstraZeneca’s Brilinta will be used mostly by new patients who are beginning therapy, said Barbara Ryan, an analyst with Deutsche Bank who has a buy rating on New York-based Bristol-Myers’s stock. Plavix, and now the copycat pills that will hit the market, are still expected to dominate.
“Managed care has made it more difficult in general for the adoption of new products,” Ryan said in a telephone interview. “Plavix has been around a while. It’s very effective, it’s a safe drug. Effient and Brilinta are really competing for new patient starts.”
More than 50 million people in the U.S. have taken Plavix since it was approved by regulators in 1997, according to Christina Trank, a Bristol-Myers spokeswoman. Now though, the company is winding down promotion of the pill and stopped advertising it last year.
Bristol-Myers said it will still push to have patients keep taking the brand, and is offering a “Plavix Choice Program” card that will let them get the medicine for $37 a month.
None of the newer blood thinners are expected to match the $7.09 billion Plavix sold in 2011, according to Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co. who follows all three companies. Sanofi, based in Paris, reported $2.76 billion in revenue last year from the drug, which it co-promotes with Bristol-Myers.
Fernandez estimates Effient sales will peak in 2017 at $865 million, an increase from $303 million last year. Brilinta may reach $1.77 billion by then. Lilly is based in Indianapolis and AstraZeneca in London.
Bristol-Myers has said it’s well prepared for the loss of the drug, pointing to the company’s “string of pearls” strategy to refill its pipeline with small and mid-size deals. The drugmaker is interested in buying San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMLN:US) and its diabetes drugs Bydureon and Byetta, which generated more than $650 million in revenue last year, Bloomberg reported on May 15.
Warner Chilcott Sues Watson Over Generic Contraceptive
Warner Chilcott Plc (WCRX:US), the maker of dermatology and women’s health drugs, sued Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI:US) to prevent it from selling a generic version of its oral contraceptive Lo Loestrin Fe.
Watson is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a copy of the low-dose contraceptive, according to a complaint filed May 16 in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey. Dublin-based Warner Chilcott said the Watson version would infringe two patents and seeks a court order to prevent sales until patents expire in July 2014 and February 2029.
The lawsuit follows Warner Chilcott’s announcement on April 30 that it is exploring options and holding preliminary talks with buyers. Warner Chilcott had $2.7 billion in revenue last year, with sales led by osteoporosis treatment Actonel, Asacol for ulcerative colitis and Loestrin 24 FE, a low-dose birth- control pill.
Under federal drug law, the filing of the lawsuit prevents the FDA from granting Watson final approval for 30 months unless a court rules in the generic-drug maker’s favor before then.
Charlie Mayr, a spokesman for Parsippany, New Jersey-based Watson, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Lo Loestrin Fe contains the active ingredients norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol.
The case is Warner Chilcott v. Watson Laboratories, 12- cv-2928, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).
STMicro Files Patent-Infringement Suit Against InvenSense
STMicroelectronics NV (STM) sued Sunnyvale, California-based InvenSense Inc., for patent infringement May 16 in federal court in San Francisco.
STMicroelectronics alleges that InvenSense, a maker of microelectronic gyroscopes for consumer products, infringes nine patents related to specialized microelectronic mechanical systems, or MEMS.
According to the complaint, InvenSense has sold more than 110 million units of MEMS products, used in such devices as smartphones, tablets, personal media players, game consoles, still cameras and remote controls. InvenSense MEMS products infringe the patents, STMicroelectronics claims.
STMicroelectronics, based in Geneva, asked the court for money damages and an order barring future infringement of its patents.
InvenSense didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.
The case is STMicroelectronics Inc. v. InvenSense Inc. (INVN:US), 12- cv-02475, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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Jaguar Objects to ‘Jaguar Shoes’ Name for London Art Venue
Jaguar Land Rover Plc, maker of Jaguar luxury cars, opposes an arts collective’s use of the name “Jaguar Shoes” for its London gallery and bar, the TimeOutLondon website reported.
The automaker began proceedings in the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office, claiming the collective’s use of the name damages the Gaydon, U.K.-based luxury car’s trademark, according to TimeOutLondon.
The arts collective chose the name because the London-based gallery operations are located in the storefront occupied in the 1970s by Jaguar Shoes, a footwear wholesaler, TimeOutLondon reported.
Nick Letchford, co-founder of the gallery and bar, told TimeOutLondon he was surprised by the automaker’s actions.
Guangzhou Regains Control of ‘Wong Lo Kat’ Herbal Tea Trademark
Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Co. (874) regained the use of its “Wong Lo Kat” trademark for herbal tea as the result of a trade arbitration, the EastDay.com English-language Chinese news website reported.
The ruling, issued last week by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, bars JDB Group’s use of the term, according to EastDay.com.
The commission found two trademark-leasing agreements between the two companies to be invalid, EastDay.com reported.
Regaining control of the “Wong Lo Kat” mark will enable Guangzhou Pharmaceutical to diversify its herbal tea products, according to EastDay.com.
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Viacom Settles Dispute With Time Warner Cable Over IPad Viewing
Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US), the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and the Paramount film studio, agreed to resolve a legal dispute with Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC:US), allowing cable customers to see Viacom shows on devices such as Apple Inc. (AAPL:US)’s iPad.
“All of Viacom’s programming will now be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers for in-home viewing via Internet protocol-enabled devices such as iPads,” the companies said yesterday in a joint statement posted on Viacom’s website. Time Warner Cable won’t be paying more to stream shows on the gadgets, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the terms are private.
Viacom sued in 2011, seeking an order blocking Time Warner Cable from distributing Viacom programming on portable electronics. Time Warner Cable also sued, seeking a ruling from the court that its contract with Viacom allowed the distribution of content on the devices.
The case underscored tensions between media companies and pay-television providers over how television content can be used in the iPad era. Consumers are increasingly watching TV on computers, tablets and other mobile devices, and cable companies are eager to accommodate them.
Last August, Viacom resolved a similar lawsuit against Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC:US), which had been distributing Viacom’s programming on the iPad. The companies said Cablevision could continue to run Viacom’s programs on the devices.
Viacom, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, reported better-than-anticipated profit last quarter on increased fees from pay-TV operators. The company’s media networks unit, which contributed 92 percent of operating profit in fiscal 2011, saw a 15 percent increase in domestic fees for its cable networks. U.S. ad sales rose 1 percent from a year earlier, following a 3 percent decline in the previous quarter.
Time Warner Cable also settled a dispute over Viacom’s Country Music Television. The cable provider will continue to carry the channel, the companies said in the May 16 statement.
The case is Viacom International v. Time Warner Cable, 11-02387, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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Jones Day Adds DLA Piper’s John Kinton to IP Practice Group
Jones Day hired John Kinton for its intellectual-property practice, the Washington-based firm said in a statement.
Kinton, a litigator, joins from Chicago’s DLA Piper LLP. He has represented clients in patent disputes in federal court and before the U.S. International Trade Commission, which has the power to bar imports of products that infringe U.S. patents.
He also has served as general counsel for Charybdis Technologies Inc. and, before he was a lawyer, as a patent engineer and program manager for Boeing Co. (BA:US) His clients’ technologies have included computer hardware and software, water and wastewater treatment systems, emergency vehicle light bars, disk-drive technologies, JPEG encoder technology and semiconductor-manufacturing processes.
Kinton has an undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from St. Louis University.
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