Cephalon Loses U.K. Bid to Halt Mylan, Orchid Generic-Drug Sales

Cephalon Inc., maker of the sleep- disorder drug Provigil, can’t block Mylan Inc. and Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. from selling generic versions of the drug in Britain before a patent trial, a judge ruled.

Barring the sales would likely cause “greater and more unquantifiable” harm to Mylan and Orchid if they later won the case, Justice Christopher Floyd ruled today in the High Court in London. Floyd said an expedited trial on Cephalon’s patent- infringement claims should take place in April 2011.

“The parties clearly need business certainty as soon as possible,” Judge Floyd said in the ruling. “The balance of convenience comes down in favor of allowing the defendants to take advantage of their market position for the short period of time until trial.”

Cephalon, based in Frazer, Pennsylvania, filed the lawsuit in September to protect a drug that was its biggest seller last year. The company in March lost a bid to dismiss U.S. antitrust lawsuits related to patent settlements with generic drugmakers, including Mylan, to delay generic Provigil in the country.

Marie-Dominique de La Salle, a spokeswoman for Cephalon in Paris, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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