Amgen Victorious Over Regeneron, Sanofi in Cholesterol Drug Patent Lawsuit

A jury ruled in favor of Amgen (AMGN) in a patent infringement case covering a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs that the biotech company filed against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and Sanofi (SNY) .

A decision on damages or potential royalty payments due Amgen from Regeneron and Sanofi was not made. A follow-on hearing on Amgen's request for a permanent injunction is scheduled for March 23 to 24.

Regeneron says it will appeal the jury's verdict.

The lawsuit centers on patents covering the discovery of the so-called PCSK9 class of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Amgen initiated the lawsuit in October 2014, alleging that patents protecting its drug Repatha were infringed by Praluent, the competing drug owned by Regeneron and Sanofi. In their defense, Regeneron and Sanofi tried to argue that Amgen's patents were invalid.

After a trial, the jury sided with Amgen, concluding the company's Repatha patents were valid and therefore, Regeneron and Sanofi were infringing with Praluent.

If the verdict stands, Regeneron and Sanofi will likely be forced to pay royalties to Amgen based on Praluent sales.

Both Repatha and Praluent launched commercially last year but sales to date have been modest. Insurance companies have been reluctant to reimburse for the drugs' use pending the outcome of large, cardiovascular outcome clinical trials.

Amgen shares are up 1.4% to $148.23 following the jury verdict. Trading in Regeneron was halted with shares at $376.70.

 

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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