Wyeth, J&J sue Medtronic over Endeavor stent patent

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Medtronic’s Endeavor patent being questioned in the courts. Source: Medtronic  

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson (J &J) have jointly filed suit against Medtronic over its Endeavor drug-eluting stent less than a month after the FDA approved the product.

The companies filed a patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging the zotarolimus-eluting stent infringes on the claims of three patents owned by Wyeth and licensed to J &J — the ’781, ’146 and ’728 patents. The patents relate to the use of rapamycin, or sirolimus, and its analogues — including zotarolimus.

While the plaintiffs have asked the court to prohibit Medtronic from selling the stent in the U.S., the lawsuit may not threaten Medtronic’s stent profits immediately.

RBC Capital Markets analysts predicted the case “will probably take many years to work its way through the federal court system,” as reported in FDA News. RBC also said that injunction requests are rarely granted in such cases, even though they are often requested.

The ’781 patent describes a method of treating restenosis in humans undergoing a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty procedure with an effective amount of rapamycin. The ’146 and ’728 patents both describe a method of preventing or treating hyperproliferative vascular disease by administering rapamycin.