Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. said a court gave a ruling favorable to Ariad in a patent infringement suit against Eli Lilly and Co., sending Ariad's stock up 41.5 percent.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts "ruled in favor" of Ariad and its co-plaintiffs, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the president and fellows of Harvard College, Ariad said. The suit was filed in June and alleged that Eli Lilly, of Indianapolis, infringed on Ariad's U.S. patent covering methods of treating human disease by regulating NF- (kappa) B-cell-signaling activity.

The suit claims Lilly's products - Evista, for osteoporosis, and Xigris, for septic shock - infringe on the patent. The court denied Lilly's motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.

Ariad's stock (NASDAQ:ARIA) rose 84 cents Wednesday to close at $3.08. Eli Lilly's stock (NYSE:LLY) fell 6 cents to close at $63.74.

Evista generated worldwide sales of $214 million in the first quarter of 2003, a 20 percent increase over the first quarter of 2002. Xigris recorded worldwide sales of $35.9 million for the first quarter, an increase of 63 percent over 2002.

Harvey Berger, chairman and CEO of Ariad, said in a prepared statement that he was "very pleased with the court's ruling," and said the company would now "seek a damage award based on a reasonable royalty on Lilly's sales of Evista and Xigris."