Merck jury findings in the fight against drugs with hepatitis Gilead

Mar 22, 2016 | | Say something

Merck jury findings in the fight against drugs with hepatitis Gilead ;

A federal jury in California has ruled in favor of Merck & Co. pharmaceutical, in a high-risk demand against rival Gilead Sciences Inc. on patents for new drugs that cure rapidly lucrative hepatitis C.

Merck accused of violating Gilead I patents interposed more than a decade, claiming sofosbuvir of Gilead infringe patents. Merck, based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, is seeking billions in damages and royalties on sales of two drugs against hepatitis Gilead.

sofosbuvir is the active ingredient in Gilead Sovaldi and a component of its Harvoni. They were launched in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and became blockbusters overnight. Together, the two drugs brought in $ 19.1 trillion last year nearly two-thirds of total revenues of Gilead, a manufacturer of biologics based in Foster City, California.

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On Tuesday, a jury in San Jose, California, ruled Merck’s patents are valid. This happened a month after a federal judge ruled that Harvoni and Sovaldi not infringe the patents of Merck. Now the jury’s decision sends the case to a new phase to decide damages.

“The jury’s verdict accurately reflects the evidence in this case,” Merck said in a statement.

Merck won US approval on 28 January for its own hepatitis C drugs Zepatier, and at a price well below what Harvoni list price of $ 94,000 per course treatment. They go to create a battle among companies to gain favorable positions on the form, and therefore more sales of insurance and prescription benefit managers.

Meanwhile, the legal battle in question if Pharmasset, a company Gilead bought for $ 11 billion in 2011 to obtain the right to experimental drugs then used Sovaldi Merck patents 2002 to develop the drug.

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Merck argued that Gilead infringed two patents for compounds and methods for developing treatments for liver-destroying virus. Merck said, a company called Ionis Pharmaceutical Carlsbad, California, and its partners spent years and significant money Zepatier development.

Gilead denied any violation of patents, saying Pharmasset started working on the development of sofosbuvir a year earlier.

In a statement Tuesday, said Gilead, “While we are disappointed by today’s verdict of the jury, there are a number of outstanding issues to be decided by the jury and the judge. Therefore, it is premature to comment further.”

According to Merck, Gilead initially filed the lawsuit, seeking a declaratory judgment that the patents of pharmaceutical products Merck and Ionis were invalid.

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Merck had been a dominant manufacturer of treatments for hepatitis C until they were approved Gilead drugs. Those drugs, as well as Merck and new ones from a couple of other rivals, have revolutionized the treatment of hepatitis C, approximately 3 million Americans have.

Older drugs require a year of treatment, with terrible side effects, however, almost half do not cure patients. New drugs cure about 95 percent of patients in eight to 12 weeks.

In after-hours trading, shares of Merck rose 1.8 percent to $ 54, and Ionis Pharma increased by nearly 3 percent to $ 42.95. Gilead shares dipped 2.5 percent to $ 91.35.

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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