A U.S. District Court judge on Nov. 15 upheld the patent for the cancer drug Alimta. The University holds the patent for Alimta, invented by chemistry professor emeritus Edward C. Taylor. Taylor developed the drug in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co., which has an exclusive license for the patent, and Princeton receives royalties on sales of the drug.
“Without Alimta, Princeton could not have constructed the splendid new Frick Hall, nor could it have attracted the stellar crop of junior and senior faculty members” who recently joined the chemistry department, said Provost Christopher Eisgruber ’83. He said the court’s ruling “not only recognizes the benefits that Ted Taylor's research has delivered to the world, but also makes it possible for Alimta revenues to underwrite future scientific discoveries at Princeton.”
Three generic drugmakers had challenged the patent, which protects Alimta until July 2016; Princeton and Lilly went to court to defend it. Lilly reported Alimta sales of $1.64 billion for the first nine months of 2010.