Court grants Amylin temporary restraining order to bar Lilly from using same sales team

SAN DIEGO — Eli Lilly is temporarily barred from using the same sales team to market two diabetes drugs, under a court order issued Thursday.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued a temporary restraining order forbidding Lilly from using the same staff to market the drugs Byetta and Bydureon (exenatide), which it developed and co-markets with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and the recently approved drug Tradjenta (linagliptin), which it developed and co-markets with Boehringer Ingelheim. Bydureon, a long-acting version of Byetta, still is awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval.

Amylin filed suit against Lilly on May 16, alleging that Tradjenta would directly compete against Byetta and Bydureon and that Lilly had thus violated its contractual agreement with Amylin. While both drugs treat Type 2 diabetes, Lilly responded by pointing out that the two drugs did not compete because Tradjenta is an orally administered drug while Byetta and Bydureon are injectables.

“We are disappointed with the court’s decision to grant a temporary restraining order in this case,” Lilly SVP and general counsel Robert Armitage said. “We have complied with our contractual obligations under our agreements with Amylin in a manner fully consistent with all applicable laws. We believe that Amylin’s allegations against Lilly are entirely without merit, and we expect to prevail in this litigation.”

In the meantime, Lilly said it would comply with the restraining order.

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