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US judge overturns Eli Lilly’s $176.5 million loss in Teva patent case

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By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – Drugmaker Eli Lilly convinced a federal judge in Massachusetts on Tuesday to overturn a $176.5 million jury verdict for Teva Pharmaceutical that found Lilly’s migraine drug Emgality infringed three patents related to Teva’s rival drug Ajovy.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said in a post-trial ruling that the Teva patents covering the use of antibodies to inhibit headache-causing peptides were invalid.

“The Court does not reach this decision nor overturn a jury verdict lightly,” Burroughs said.

Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.

Eli Lilly earned more than $650 million from Emgality sales worldwide last year, while Teva earned $377 million from Ajovy, according to company reports.

Teva sued Lilly over the patents in 2018. On the same day that Teva sued, the court dismissed two related Teva lawsuits seeking to block Emgality from coming on to the U.S. market.

A jury awarded Teva $176.5 million in damages in November and rejected Lilly’s argument that the patents were invalid.

Burroughs reversed the jury’s validity decision on Tuesday. She concluded that the patents were overly broad and did not enable scientists to recreate the antibodies without “undue experimentation.”

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington; Editing by David Bario and Matthew Lewis)

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