Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) has announced that it would appeal against the decision, of the European Patent Office, revoking one of four patents, linked to Tecfidra. The drug is the company’s lead revenue generating product. The news was first released by Eric Schmidt, an analyst at Cowen Investments, in a research note. The note also identified the patent as a “method of use” patent.
Benjamin Russell, a spokesman for Biogen, termed the regulatory body’s decision as a disappointment. He also revealed that the company is waiting for a written decision to surface, before filing against it. Russell also clarified that this does not have any effect on the company’s patents in the US, but once the company files against the decision, the revocation would be suspended.
Tecfidra was launched in the US and Europe in 2013 and had been responsible for generating $3.6 billion in revenue, last year. This amounted to more than 33% of Biogen’s total revenue. Even though the decision would not have any major affect on the sales of the drug, but it will make room for generic competition to emerge sooner than expected. It should be noted here that another patent concerning the drug, in the US, has been challenged, by Forward Pharma. However, USPTO is yet to reach a decision on the matter.
Furthermore, some unverified sources have revealed that the company could merge with Shire Pharmaceuticals. Many anticipate that the merger would result in a drug powerhouse company. Shire is currently pending a merger with Baxalta, which focuses on developing drugs for hemophilia, hematology and cancer. Together, the two companies employ a total of 22,000 people. Biogen currently has two hemophilia drugs in the market and employs a total of 8,000 people. A merger between Shire and Biogen would allow the latter to enjoy tax benefits, while the two companies work on their common goals and generate large revenues quickly.
Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) closed at a share price of $259.74, after having a trade volume of 1.76 million and gaining 3.08%, during the March 11 session.