Jerusalem, Israel, August 14, 2001 - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.(Nasdaq: TEVA) announced today that it has won the lawsuit brought against it by SmithKline Beecham regarding the U.S. patent covering Nabumetone, the active ingredient in Relafen®. Teva's U.S. subsidiary expects to commence sales of Nabumetone immediately. Annual sales of the branded product in the U.S. during the twelve months ended June 30, 2001, were estimated to be approximately $266 million. As the first applicant to challenge the listed patent for this drug, Teva is entitled to a 180-day period of generic marketing exclusivity.
Mr. Eli Hurvitz, President and CEO of Teva, stated: "We are delighted that the court has vindicated our position regarding Nabumetone. This decision reinforces our strategy of seeking to challenge patents whenever possible and thereby bring lower priced generic products to the U.S. consumer more rapidly."
Judge Reginald C. Lindsay of the Federal District Court in Boston, Massachusetts today granted judgment in favor of Teva, holding that SmithKline Beecham's U.S. patent 6,420,639 was not only invalid based on the doctrine of anticipation, but also unenforceable due to Beecham's inequitable conduct before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 40 pharmaceutical companies and among the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. Over 80% of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe. The Company develops, manufactures and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Safe Harbor Statement under the U. S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on current expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause Teva's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include Teva's ability to successfully develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products, the introduction of competitive generic products, the impact of competition from brand-name companies that sell their own generic products or successfully extend the exclusivity period of their branded products, Teva's ability to rapidly integrate the operations of acquired businesses, the availability of product liability coverage in the current insurance market, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry, the difficulty of predicting U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and other regulatory authority approvals, the regulatory environment and changes in the health policies and structure of various countries, acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products and new therapies, uncertainties regarding market acceptance of innovative products newly launched, currently being sold or in development, the impact of restructuring of clients, reliance on strategic alliances, exposure to product liability claims, dependence on patent and other protections for innovative products, fluctuations in currency, exchange and interest rates, operating results and other factors that are discussed in Teva's Annual Report on Form 20-F and its other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.