Takeda jury says diabetes drug didn't cause man's death

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. wasn't responsible for the bladder-cancer death of an Illinois man who took its diabetes control drug Actos, an Illinois state court jury found.

The trial was the first for the more than 3,000 such lawsuits filed in Illinois, Tor Hoerman, a lawyer for the deceased man's family, said in an interview yesterday.

The verdict follows a federal trial in Louisiana in which a jury last month ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. to pay $9 billion in punitive damages after finding the companies hid Actos cancer risks.

The companies have vowed an appeal. The Osaka, Japan-based drug company and its American unit, Deerfield-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, have won three other cases that went to trial, according to a statement from Takeda USA issued after yesterday's verdict.

As many as 10,000 cases may be filed nationwide, New York attorney Paul Pennock has said. Another trial is under way in Las Vegas. Lawyers in that case have said they're seeking more than $1 billion in damages for two women who blame their bladder cancer on Actos.

Actos sales peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for 27 percent of Takeda's revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, according to court filings. Takeda now faces generic competition from Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.

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