Wednesday, March 08, 2006

US Court of Appeals stays injunction on Eligard Drug

US Court of Appeals has stayed an injunction against the QLT barring it from manufacturing or selling prostate cancer drug Eligard, generically known as leuprolide acetate, in the US. The injunction has been stayed pending the Court’s decision on whether to grant a permanent stay of the injunction. On February 27, 2006 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division granted an injunction enjoining QLT, Sanofi-Aventis and their subsidiaries from promoting, manufacturing, selling and offering for sale QLT USA’s Eligard product in the US until U.S. Patent No. 4,728,721 expires on May 1, 2006. The Court further ordered QLT and Sanofi-Synthelabo to recall any Eligard products that they still own and provide a voluntary recall program to allow physicians, wholesalers and distributors, who wish to do so, to return Eligard for a full refund. The Court also granted a stay of the injunction for seven days from the date of grant of injunction. Earlier in 2003, TAP sued Atrix Laboratoires Inc. (now QLT USA) and Sanofi-Synthelabo alleging that QLT USA’s Eligard product infringes ‘721 patent. In response QLT and Sanofi-Synthelabo challenged the validity and enforceability of the ‘721 patent, which was later in December 2005 rejected by Judge James Zagel ruling that TAP ‘721 patent is valid.

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