Pfizer gets $2.15 billion from Teva and Sun Pharma in patent settlement

Taking a risk, Teva launched its generic version of the stomach acid reducing drug Protonix in December 2007 while challenging the patent of Nycomed that had been licensed to Wyeth. Pfizer bought Wyeth in 2009 and inherited the litigation.

Pfizer said Wednesday morning that Teva will pay it $1.6 billion and Sun Pharma will pay it $550 million to settle a patent lawsuit over the heartburn medicine Protonix.

The companies were in the midst of the damages phase of a jury trial in federal court in Newark, N.J. A separate jury had found in favor of Pfizer in 2010.

An Inquirer story from June 2, advancing the damages phase, is here.

The corporate history of this also includes licensing and mergers. Takeda Pharmaceuticals had inherited ownership of the patent, but previously it was licensed to Wyeth. Wyeth was then bought by Pfizer. Through all of that, Takeda shares the money with Pfizer, with Pfizer getting 64 percent or about $1.38 billion.

"As part of the settlement, both Teva and Sun have admitted that their sales of generic pantoprazole infringed the patent that was held valid by the court," Pfizer said in its statement.

“We are pleased with today's settlement, which recognizes the validity and value of the innovation that led to Protonix,” Amy W. Schulman, executive vice president and general counsel of Pfizer, said in a statement. “Protecting intellectual property is vital as we develop new medicines that save and enhance patients’ lives.”

Teva will pay $800 million in 2013 and the remaining $800 million by October 2014. Sun will pay all of its share in 2013.

“We are pleased to put this matter behind us as we continue to focus on delivering safe and affordable medicines to patients around the world,” Richard Egosi, Teva's Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, said in a statement.