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Eli Lilly v Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy [2013] EWHC 1737 (Pat)

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  25 June 2013


Charlotte May recently appeared with Simon Thorley QC before Mr Justice Arnold in the High Court in Eli Lilly v Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy [2013] EWHC 1737 (Pat). The case concerned a patent for an antibody for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Eli Lilly challenged the validity the patent on the grounds of novelty, obviousness, added matter and sufficiency, and sought a declaration that their own antibody did not infringe the patent.

Having construed the patent as requiring efficacy to the standard of positive cognitive effects in patients at a Phase II trial, the judge rejected the attacks based upon novelty, obviousness and added matter, but held the patent to be invalid on the ground of insufficiency. He considered that the patent did not render it plausible that the treatment would work across the breadth of the claim, and that the failure of Janssen’s own antibody in Phase 3 trials showed that it did not in fact provide the cognitive benefits required by his construction.

The judge further held that, had the patent been valid Eli Lilly’s antibody would have infringed it.