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Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MNTA) Scores MS Patent Victory


2/9/2011 8:11:10 AM

Boston Business Journal -- Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MNTA) in Cambridge may not win its competitive war with Israeli drug powerhouse Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, LTD. But today, this round went to Momenta.

Momenta announced late today, Feb. 8, that it has been granted a patent that will help the company advance its drug target for a generic form of Teva’s Copaxone.

Copaxone is the best-selling multiple sclerosis treatment on the market, out selling Weston, Mass.-based Biogen Idec’s Tysabri and Avonex. Copaxone is also the biggest revenue driver for Teva (Nasdaq: TEVA). Teva reported Tuesday that Copaxone sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 were $938 million, up 26 percent year over year.

The patent is called “Analysis of Amino Acid Copolymer Compositions” and includes claims to methods of preparing generic Copaxone. Momenta is developing its generic version with Sandoz -- the generics division of Switzerland-based Novartis -- which has filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the product.

Currently, Teva is in patent litigation against Momenta and its partners over Copaxone; the lawsuit is expected to be resolved in the middle of 2011.

This was the cherry on top of a good day for Momenta and a bad one for Teva. That’s because, although Copaxone brought in record revenues, its profits fell short of investor expectations. Teva lost 5 percent on its U.S. sales of generics for the fourth quarter, year over year.



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