Teva faces 2 key court hearings on Monday

A US court will hear Teva's patent infringement case over generic Copaxone, and England's High Court will hear Pfizer's patent infringement case against Teva.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) will have a busy day in court on Monday. A US court will tomorrow hear the company's case against the developers of generic Copaxone, Teva's multiple sclerosis treatment. A UK court will hear Pfizer Inc's (NYSE: PFE; LSE: PFZ) patent infringement case against Teva on Lipitor. News from the hearings could affect Teva's share price.

Teva is suing Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTA), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; LSE: NOV; SWX: NOVZ) unit Sandoz, and India's Natco Pharma Ltd. for patent infringement of Copaxone. Copaxone has $3 billion in annual sales. The defendants claim that Teva's conduct in registering the patents is inequitable and that it is attempting to win summary judgments. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York, after it rejected Teva's request for a summary judgment in June. Tomorrow's hearing is separate from the legal proceedings scheduled for September. Sources believe that the claimants will find it difficult to persuade the court that Teva is engaged in unfair conduct.

The shoe is on the other foot in the Lipitor case. In June, Teva launched a generic version of the cholesterol reduction pill Lipitor in the UK, without a ruling that the drug's patents were invalid. Brand-Lipitor had $11 billion in sales in 2010, making it the world's top-selling prescription drug. England's High Court of Justice is hearing the case.

Teva reportedly had $23 million in generic Lipitor sales in the UK before Pfizer obtained an injunction against further sales until tomorrow's hearing. Pfizer has said that it "reserves the right to claim damages from any infringing party."

In a separate case, Teva settled the lawsuits filed against it by Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) over its Zetya and Vytorin cholesterol reduction pills.

In another case, US legal website "Law360" reports that Iowa settled its lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. for overcharging the state's Medicare and Medicaid programs by inflating wholesale drug prices. Teva was one of the drug companies named as defendants in the case. The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts heard the case. The court filing does not indicate how much, if anything, Teva will pay to drop the suit. The company has already made a $315 million provision to settle similar lawsuits with other states.

Teva's share price rose 0.3% on Nasdaq on Friday to $49.47, giving a market cap of $46.5 billion, and rose 0.9% by mid-afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 169.30.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 10, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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