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Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Announces Appeals Court Decision Upholding Patent Protection for LIVALO® (pitavastatin)


MONTGOMERY, AL, January 9, 2019 — Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, upholding the validity of U.S. Patent No. 8,557,993 (the ‘993 patent) protecting the Company’s cholesterol-lowering drug LIVALO (pitavastatin) tablets. This decision was the most recent in litigation involving challenges by eight generic companies to the patents protecting the statin LIVALO. Several of those defendants settled, and the U.S. District Court entered judgment against the two remaining defendants, the generic drug manufacturers Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLP and Apotex, Inc. and Apotex Corp.

“We are pleased with the U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling upholding the validity of the ‘993 patent for LIVALO once again,” said Ben Stakely, Chairman, CEO and President of Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. “Our focus continues to be centered around bringing LIVALO to patients with high cholesterol and the physicians who treat them, as well as continuing to increase awareness and education about the risks of high cholesterol.”

The U.S. District Court issued two decisions – one in April 2017 upholding the validity and infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,856,336 (the ‘336 patent), and the second in October 2017 upholding the validity and infringement of the ‘993 patent. The ‘336 patent, which expires on December 25, 2020, covers pitavastatin calcium, the active ingredient in LIVALO. The ‘993 patent, which expires on February 2, 2024, covers the polymorphic form of pitavastatin calcium in LIVALO.

The plaintiffs, which included Kowa Company, Ltd., Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., and Nissan Chemical Corporation, prevailed on all issues in the U.S. District Court decisions. Amneal and Apotex both filed appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Apotex subsequently abandoned its appeal and settled, agreeing to license to market its generic version of LIVALO beginning on May 2, 2023, or earlier under certain circumstances. Oral argument on the Amneal appeal was held on December 6, 2018, and the Federal Circuit entered its decision affirming the District Court’s judgment on December 10, 2018. As a result of the Federal Circuit decision, Amneal will be precluded from marketing its generic version of LIVALO until after the expiration of the ‘993 patent in February 2024.

Kowa Company, Ltd., Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., and Nissan Chemical Corporation are represented by Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.


LIVALO is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin).


Drug therapy should be one component of multiple-risk-factor intervention in individuals who require modifications of their lipid profile. Lipid-altering agents should be used in addition to a diet restricted in saturated fat and cholesterol only when the response to diet and other nonpharmacological measures has been inadequate.


LIVALO (pitavastatin) is indicated as an adjunctive therapy to diet to reduce elevated total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein B (Apo B), triglycerides (TG), and to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in adult patients with primary hyperlipidemia or mixed dyslipidemia.


Important Safety Information for LIVALO (pitavastatin) tablets


LIVALO is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to product components, in patients with active liver disease (which may include unexplained persistent elevations in hepatic transaminase levels), in women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, in nursing mothers, or in co-administration with cyclosporine.


Skeletal Muscle Effects

Cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIVALO. These risks can occur at any dose level, but increase in a dose-dependent manner.

Liver Enzyme Abnormalities

Increases in serum transaminases have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIVALO.

Endocrine Function

Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIVALO.


In short-term controlled studies, the most frequent adverse reactions reported by ≥2% of patients treated with LIVALO 1 mg, 2 mg, and 4 mg, respectively, and at a rate ≥ placebo were back pain (3.9%, 1.8%, 1.4% vs 2.9%), constipation (3.6%, 1.5%, 2.2% vs 1.9%), diarrhea (2.6%, 1.5%, 1.9% vs 1.9%), myalgia (1.9%, 2.8%, 3.1% vs 1.4%), and pain in extremity (2.3%, 0.6%, 0.9% vs 1.9%). This is not a complete listing of all reported adverse events.

For additional information, please see the full Prescribing Information at

© Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (2016) - LIV-RA-0101 PI V-11-2016

About Kowa Company, Ltd. and Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

Kowa Company, Ltd. (Kowa) is a privately held, multinational company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Established in 1894, Kowa is actively engaged in various business fields including the trading of textiles, machinery, and construction materials, in addition to the manufacturing and sales of medicines, medical equipment, and energy saving products. Kowa's pharmaceutical division is focused on research and development for cardiovascular therapeutics (dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis), ophthalmology and anti-inflammatory agents. The company’s flagship product, LIVALO (pitavastatin), is approved in 46 countries around the world.

Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is focused primarily in the area of cardiometabolic diseases. Established in September 2008, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America focuses its efforts on the successful commercialization of its current and near-term portfolio of pharmaceutical products, and business development activities. For more information about Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, visit

LIVALO is a registered trademark of the Kowa group of companies.

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