- The U.S. Court of Appeals has yet again struck down Teva's patent on Copaxone, meaning that Momenta and Novartis (Sandoz) can freely market Glatopa (substitutable generic copaxone) without paying Teva. Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) is used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Teva has taken the defensive by switching patients over to a new, long-acting version of copaxone.
- Although Teva received patent protection for Copaxone from the U.S. Supreme Court in January, their patent will expire in September and generic companies will be free to launch Glatopa.
Teva has been very agressive about protecting its flagship M.S. product, which generated roughly $5.5 billion last year and represents a signficant percentage of Teva's annual revenues. In addition to using legal mechanisms to delay introduction of Glatopa, Teva has also successfully switched many patients to a longer-lasting version of Copaxone.
Nonetheless, once a generic is introduced, revenue erosion is a foregone conclusion for Teva. ISI analyst Umer Raffat has predicted declining sales of 31% by 2016 and 50% by 2018.
Meanwhile, Sandoz and Momenta are ready to go.