On Wednesday, a US federal appeals court told that Sanofi and its partner Regeneron can continue selling their cholesterol drug. In the meanwhile, they can challenge a patent-infringement order by a lower court that threatened to stop sales.
Earlier, a federal judge had obstructed the drug’s sales after a competing company Amgen won a trial, wherein it charged them of patent infringement. The patent will be effective from February 21.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision provides the two firms a provisional stay from the ruling of a trial court previous month after getting to know that their Praluent drug infringed patents of Amgen Inc.
Joseph LaRosa, the general counsel of Regeneron said that the firm would continue to protect its case via the process of appeal. He said – “We continue to believe the facts and controlling law support our position in this case.”
Ashleigh Koss, the spokeswoman of Sanofi stated in a mail that the firm was glad that they got a stay, thus giving the US patients continuous access to this crucial medicine. She said – “It is our longstanding position that Amgen’s asserted patent claims are invalid.”
Regeneron and Sanofi commended the verdict for making sure that patients could continue getting access to Praluent, whereas the case continues. The firms also showed confidence in their appeal prospects. The firm stated – “It is our longstanding position that Amgen’s asserted patent claims are invalid.”
Without the decision of the appeals court, Regeneron and Sanofi would have stopped from selling Praluent in the United States, while they continued battling this case of patent infringement. However, this decision doesn’t imply that the firms will eventually prevail.
A spokeswoman said – “Amgen remains confident in the validity of our patents and the correctness of the jury verdict and district court’s judgment. We look forward to presenting our case on the lack of merit in the appeal by Sanofi and Regeneron.”
Repatha, the competing drug of Amgen and Praluent, approved in 2015 for sale, are from a new category of cholesterol drugs called PCSK9s. Originally, analysts expected that the drugs would be multibillion-dollar sellers, though the health insurance plans have banned use, partially due to their price tags.
Early last month, Delaware’s U.S. District Court ruled that Praluent violated the patents of Repatha, and gave Regeneron and Sanofi a month to either appeal or settle the clash.
In after-hours trading, Regeneron rose 2.7%, while Amgen dropped by 1.9%. Sanofi’s US traded shares fell 1.9%.