Pfizer Sues Teva, Mylan to Delay Generic Celebrex Until 2015

Pfizer Inc. said it filed patent-infringement lawsuits today against generic-drug makers including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to prevent them from selling a low-cost version of the painkiller Celebrex until December 2015.

Pfizer had won a ruling in 2008 that prevents Teva from entering the market until May 2014. In that case, an appeals court invalidated a patent that expires in December 2015. Pfizer said today it had persuaded the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reissue that patent with changes.

Celebrex, also known by the active ingredient celecoxib, generated $1.75 billion in U.S. sales last year, the company said Jan. 29. Each day that Pfizer can delay generic competition means about $5 million in revenue for the New York-based company.

The reissued patent covers methods of treating osteoarthritis with celecoxib. In addition to Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest generic-drug maker, Pfizer said it sued Mylan Inc., Actavis Inc., Lupin Ltd. and Apotex Inc. in federal court in eastern Virginia.

“Continued development of new medicines that enhance patient lives is supported by protecting intellectual property and innovation,” Pfizer General Counsel Amy Schulman said in a statement.

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