Pfizer continued to serve up the pain to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on Friday when the company reaffirmed its patents on the arthritis pain drug Celebrex.
The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Federal District said that two of the three patents were valid, but threw out the third, saying that it was not valid for the treatment of inflammation. Teva will now have to wait until May 2014 to market the copycat. Celebrex provided Pfizer with annual global sales of $1.7 billion in 2007. Bear Stearns analyst project that it will reach global sales of $2.5 billion in 2008, an increase of 9%, and that the drug will pull in $3.1 billion by 2012.
The New York-based pharma company has been battling it out with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to hang on to Celebrex for almost four years. Pfizer sued the Israel-based drug maker after it applied to U.S. regulators for permission to sell the generic in 2004. In March 2007, Pfizer won a ruling from a U.S. federal court over three of the main patents regarding Celebrex, barring Teva from manufacturing the generic until 2015.