Global pharmaceutical company successfully defends patent for use of antidepressant medicine


We were instructed by two global pharmaceutical companiesH. Lundbeck A/S and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, to defend an opposition filed against their patent to a new use of an antidepressant medication vortioxetine (marketed as Brintellix). 

The case required an extensive review of existing EPO case law concerning the novelty of second medical use claims, as well as considerations of public policy. If the case had been decided against our clients, it could have set a precedent that impacted the ability to protect drugs used to treat a range of mental health conditions. 

We had successfully defended the case before the Opposition Division in 2014, but the opponent subsequently appealed. We drafted and submitted substantial briefs and the case was argued orally before the Board of Appeal in July 2019, where we delivered a successful outcome for our clients.


This case set an important precedent for the clients and for others in the pharmaceutical industry concerned with second medical use and personalised medicine claims for mental health conditions.