A Court of Appeal decision this week, from a 2015 case between Eli Lilly and Teva Actavis, overturned the original High Court and Court of Appeal judgment that Lilly’s method-of-use patents for Alimta were not infringed by Actavis’ product. The UK Supreme Court has instead sided with Lily, stating that alternative salt forms of its cancer drug Alimta,  marketed by Teva’s Actavis, directly infringe on its vitamin regimen patents in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy.

The UK Supreme Court also affirmed the UK Court of Appeal’s judgment that its Alimta vitamin regimen patent would also be indirectly infringed when the generic product is reconstituted or diluted in saline.

The basic compound patents for Alimta (pemetrexed) expired in December 2015 across most European markets, but its vitamin regimen patents – which concern the drug’s co-administration with vitamin B12 to protect against side effects – remain in force until June 2021.

The full judgment is due on Wednesday 12 July.

“While we do not yet know the court’s reasoning, we are pleased with the UK Supreme Court’s key conclusions that confirm the Alimta vitamin regimen patent would be infringed by these generic pemetrexed products in the UK, France, Italy and Spain prior to June 2021,” said Michael J. Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel for Lilly.

Daniel Brook, partner at Hogan Lovells, which acted for Lilly throughout the case, added: “This conclusion vindicates Lilly’s position after five years of hard-fought litigation and we look forward to receiving the reasoned judgment next week”