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Eli Lilly Wins U.K. Patent Suit on J&J Alzheimer’s Research

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) won a U.K. patent lawsuit against a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit over a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

A patent held by J&J’s Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development unit isn’t valid, Judge Richard Arnold said in a ruling in London today. Both companies are developing treatments targeting the build-up of plaque in patients’ brains that’s linked to the condition.

Companies developing the first treatments for Alzheimer’s are competing for what might be a $20 billion market, according to a report last year by Deutsche Bank AG analysts.

“We are disappointed by the outcome of this case, and we are considering our options,” Greg Panico, a U.S. spokesman for Janssen, said in an e-mail.

Lilly is “focused on discovering and developing innovative medicines to meet the needs of patients,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “This decision by the court supports that effort.”

The case is Eli Lilly and Co. v. Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, HC11C03400

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

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

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