Arthritis Pain Reliever Vimovo Invalidated

Written May 16, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on May 15, 2019, invalidated two of Horizon Therapeutics PLC’s patents for arthritis pain reliever drug Vimovo. Nuvo Pharmaceuticals v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Inc., Fed. Cir., 17-02473, 5/15/19.

Mylan NV, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., and Lupin Ltd., successfully argued that the patents shouldn’t have been issued because they lacked a written description that adequately described the invention and how to make and use it. The patents, owned by Nuvo Pharmaceuticals and licensed to Horizon, cover the dosage combination of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug with a proton pump inhibitor to avert gastric side effects.

The Federal Circuit found that the patents didn’t sufficiently describe the effectiveness of uncoated proton pump inhibitors, saying that the patents didn’t provide any evidence that the inventors “possessed more than a mere wish or hope” that an uncoated inhibitor would work.