Celgene ( CELG) shares are notably higher Wednesday on what appears to be an investor relief rally over the patent life of Revlimid, the company's biggest selling cancer drug.
Documents pertaining to an upcoming pre-trial "Markman" hearing were made public which appear to favor Celgene over Natco, the generic drugmaker challenging certain Revlimid patents. That's the take of RBC analyst Michael Yee:
Markman briefing documents were released and our layman's interpretation is that CELG is generally well positioned. In the opposition filings, and beyond even the core fundamental arguments for the novelty and merits of the polymorph patent and other methods patents such as REMS system etc (CELG cites validity and infringement of 18 total patents and additional four new ones) CELG additionally also claims or notes NatCo has "unclean hands" (a notable defense mechanism) in part of their belief that NatCo's had illicit methods of obtaining Revlimid for testing and/or in their nature and part of limiting and stonewalling CELG's ability to get key testimony from a witness involved in getting NatCo the Revlimid for bioequivalance testing. As page 11 states "clearly Defendants have much to fear...and are willing to go to great lengths to prevent Celgene from obtaining his discovery."Celgene shares are up 4.5% to $144.45 in mid-day trading.
I wrote a backgrounder on Celgene and the Revlimid patent issues in last week's Biotech Stock Mailbag. Subesequently, the date of the Markman hearing was pushed back to May 15 from April 29.