In re HIV Antitrust Litigation


In a rare trial centering on allegations that the settlement of patent litigation between a brand and generic drug manufacturer included an anticompetitive reverse payment, the jury found in favor of the defense.

During a six-week jury trial, the plaintiffs, a class of indirect purchasers and several individual health plan purchasers, argued that Gilead Sciences (Gilead) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (Teva) entered into an anticompetitive patent settlement that delayed the entry of generic versions of Gilead’s HIV treatments Truvada and Atripla. The plaintiffs alleged that the settlement included a reverse payment in the form of acceleration clauses that created a kind of “contractual exclusivity” for Teva and delayed the entry of other generic manufacturers.

Counsel for Gilead and Teva retained Celeste Saravia of Cornerstone Research to analyze the competitive effects of the settlement and provide expert testimony at trial.

The jury found in favor of the defense concluding, consistent with Dr. Saravia’s testimony and expert opinion, that the settlement contained no payment for delay.

At trial, Dr. Saravia provided opinion testimony based on her expertise, which criticized several aspects of plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions that Teva’s launch of generic versions of Truvada and Atripla was delayed by showing that the settlement did not include a reverse payment to Teva. Dr. Saravia testified that the settlement did not guarantee exclusivity for Teva and that the methodology used by plaintiffs’ expert to estimate the size of the alleged delay was unreliable, due to several critically flawed assumptions. Dr. Saravia further explained that other generic manufacturers entered the market after Teva for reasons unrelated to the acceleration clauses in the Gilead and Teva settlement. Finally, Dr. Saravia enumerated several procompetitive benefits of the settlement.

Following trial, the jury ruled in favor of the defense, finding that the settlement between Gilead and Teva did not include a reverse payment to delay Teva’s market entry. The jury’s opinion was consistent with Dr. Saravia’s testimony and expert opinion.

How A 3-Firm ‘Joint Effort’ Beat A $3.6B Pharma Antitrust Suit

In an interview with Law360 after the decision, one of the lead attorneys in this matter cited the important role Dr. Saravia played in the successful defense.

For more information, contact Penka Kovacheva or Andrew Elzinga.

Case Expert

  • San Francisco

Celeste C. Saravia

Vice President,
Cornerstone Research;
University of California, Berkeley