Novartis holds back the copycat brigade's attack on its top drug franchise — for now
A federal judge has put a generic challenge to Novartis’ blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya on hold while a patent fight plays out in court.
Judge Leonard P. Stark issued a temporary injunction earlier this week, forcing Mylan, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma to shelve their launch plans to allow the patent fight to proceed. He ruled that allowing the generics into the market now would permanently slash the price for Novartis, even if it prevails.
And for now, at least, that will preserve the pharma giant’s $3.3 billion franchise drug — its top-selling therapy.
Novartis first fielded the drug 9 years ago, before the current crush of rival therapies has disrupted the market. Merck KGaA has Mavenclad on the market now, alongside Roche’s Ocrevus. And other drugs like Tecfidera have held on to blockbuster status as well.
Novartis hasn’t been idle in the face of the generic onslaught, either. The pharma giant recently won an OK for its new MS drug Mayzent — the only drug approved for secondary progressive cases. EvaluatePharma pegged 2024 sales of this drug at $1.3 billion, making it an important part of Novartis’ portfolio. A follow-up study for Gilenya last fall proved it was superior to Teva’s Copaxone.
Social image: Shutterstock