Sanofi, Regeneron lose bid to overturn Amgen win in patent case

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By Brendan Pierson

In an October 2014 lawsuit, Amgen had sought to stop
Paris-based Sanofi and Tarrytown, New York-based Regeneron from
selling Praluent, a drug intended to lower bad LDL cholesterol
by blocking a protein known as PCSK9.

Amgen makes a rival drug called Repatha, and it said
Praluent infringed the Thousand Oaks, California-based company’s
patents related to the protein. A jury found Amgen’s patents
valid in March.

Following that verdict, Sanofi and Regeneron moved for U.S.
District Judge Sue Robinson, who is presiding over the case, to
overturn the verdict and order a new trial. She denied that
motion on Tuesday.

Regeneron shares were down 2.6 percent in after-hours
trading, and Amgen shares rose 1.6 percent.

“The court’s ruling today is an important step in this case
and confirms the jury’s finding that the patents which protect
Repatha are valid and infringed by Sanofi,” Amgen spokeswoman
Kristen Davis said in an email.

Sanofi spokeswoman Ashleigh Koss said in an email that the
company was disappointed with the ruling.

“It is our longstanding position that Amgen’s asserted
patent claims are invalid, and we intend to appeal today’s
ruling,” she said.

Regeneron, which developed Praluent in partnership with
Sanofi, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Damages have yet to be set, and Robinson has not decided
whether to block Sanofi and Regeneron from selling Praluent. The
defendants said after the verdict that they planned to appeal to
the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews patent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Praluent and
Repatha to reduce bad cholesterol in 2015.

The drugs are more costly than other treatments targeting
bad cholesterol, with a list price topping $14,000 annually.

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