Not long ago, Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) filed a patent infringement case related to a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs against Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. As per the reports, a jury has ruled in the favor of the biotech company.
The final hearing on this matter on a special request from Amgen is scheduled to take place on March 23-24, 2016. When contacted, Regeneron stated that it will file its appeal against the current verdict.
Insights of Matter
The focal point of this lawsuit is but the discovery of the PCSK9 class of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Amgen filed a lawsuit in 2014 claiming that Praluent, a drug owned by Sanofi and Regeneron had infringed the patents related to its drug Repatha. In response to this lawsuit, Regeneron and Sanofi argued that Amgen’s patents were invalid and shouldn’t be considered as a basis for that case.
However, after a trial, the jury took Amgen’s side and said that its patents were valid and that Sanofi and Regeneron had infringed the Praluent patent rules. Although Regeneron claims to appeal against the verdict, the chances of jury changing its decision seem very less. In such a situation, both Regeneron and Sanofi may have to pay royalty payments for infringing patent laws.
In a recent PR, Regeneron’s General Counsel, Joseph LaRosa, said that it’s a complicated scenario; however, the law and facts support Regeneron. The company will take this case to Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that hears appeals related to biopharmaceutical patent lawsuits.
Experts claim that if Regeneron and Sanofi tend to appeal against this verdict, the entire procedure may get delayed for another 12-18 months. On the other hand, if the judgment remains unchanged and Amgen demand royalty payment from both Regeneron and Sanofi, it can put them into a troublesome situation. A 5% royalty payment, in this case, would straightway peel Regeneron’s 1% of 2020 EPS.
The stocks of Sanofi and Regeneron were down 2% and 1% after this news came out.