The FDA has handed a consolation prize to Pfizer, which is on the cusp of completely losing its patent on the company’s best-selling drug, Lyrica.
On Tuesday, the agency announced that it would extend Pfizer’s exclusivity rights to Lyrica for six months — but that extra patent time only applies to its indication for pediatric epilepsy.
Lyrica is also indicated to treat conditions such as fibromyalgia, nerve pain, shingles pain and more, and the drug is set to lose its patent at the end of this year. This extension — which will last until June 2019 — could protect nearly half of Lyrica’s nearly $3.5 billion in sales next year.
Pfizer has been looking for ways to counter-balance the inevitable sales hit the company will take from losing its patent protection for Lyrica. Earlier this week, the company announced that it won approval for a new cancer drug — making it the fourth win for Pfizer’s oncology unit in just two months.