Teva wants generics makers to hold off on launching their copies of multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone until the Supreme Court hears its appeal in a patent fight over the drug. And unsurprisingly, those generics companies are not that into the idea.
On Monday, Teva asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to consider a plea to block generic competition to Copaxone until SCOTUS has weighed its appeal. And now, he wants to know what generics makers think about it.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has finally convinced the Supreme Court to hear its Copaxone patent appeal. But the high court may not hand down a decision till June 2015--and generic versions of the company's top moneymaker are on their way as soon as next month.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court's decision to invalidate Teva's Copaxone patent, which if restored will shield the drug until September 2015. The decision may, in the least, leave competitors wary of proceeding with generics, giving Teva more time to convert patients to a new, long-acting version of the treatment.
Early progress doesn't always equal long-term success. But at least in the case of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries--which is firing on all cylinders to convert patients to a new, long-acting version of Copaxone--early results have some analysts thinking the Israeli company may deliver on its promise to switch 30% to 50% of patients.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is trying to throw up yet another hurdle to a generic version of its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone from India's Natco Pharmaceuticals.
Teva is on a mission. The goal: switch as many multiple sclerosis patients as possible over to the new version of Copaxone before the current product loses patent protection in May. So far, Teva has reached 85,000 of them; to do so, Bloomberg reports, the company has started emailing patients registered with its 24-hour patient-support hotline.
Teva doesn't have much time left to switch patients over to its new, thrice-weekly Copaxone injection before generics jump on the current product. And while the company is working feverishly to market its new drug to patients, insurers may be the most difficult to persuade.
At least one key investor seems to think Teva is headed in the right direction. Billionaire George Soros boosted his family office's stake in the Israeli company in the last quarter of 2013, adding 5.7 million shares to make the Israeli generics giant its largest holding.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is like a skiff-racing team that's beating its own speed records on the river but heading for an enormous waterfall just around the bend. As well as it performs now, the question remains: How well can it recover from the imminent loss of Copaxone patent protection?