Johnson & Johnson (J&J) applied to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to stop manufacturers producing generics rivals to Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), after a US District Court ruled its patent invalid.
The firm is taking the decision to the US Supreme Court but an ultimate decision will not be made until early next year, with the case due to be heard at the end of January. This means that a number of generic manufacturers could enter the market with their own products before the Supreme Court’s decision is delivered.
Any manufacturer that moves ahead with a launch may earn sales in the coming months, but could be hit with a lawsuit if the Supreme Court backs J&J’s Zytiga patents.
Gaining generic rivals to Zytiga would be a blow to J&J’s sales, which achieved $958m (€842.9m) in the third quarter – growing worldwide at a rate of 57.1%.
The product’s European sales will not not be impacted, with patent protection in the region lasting until 2022.