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Court sides with Amgen in Sandoz' challenge over patent on Enbrel

Published on 12/08/19 at 09:47am

A US court has sided with Amgen in a legal battle over the patent on blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel.

US District Judge Claire Cecchi in Newark, New Jersey, upheld two patents on Amgen’s Enbrel on Friday 9 August.

The decision comes after a challenge from Swiss multinational Novartis which is seeking to launch a generic version of the drug.

Novartis’ generics unit Sandoz claimed the patents covering Enbrel’s active ingredients until 2029 should not have been granted because their concepts were already covered in previous patents.

The decision was a relief to investors who pushed Amgen shares up by 6% on closing. Enbrel generated $4.8 billion in sales last year.  

Amgen CEO Robert Bradway commented: “protecting intellectual property is critical to incentivise innovation and the large investments in R&D that are required to bring new medicines to patients and fully develop their therapeutic potential.”

Carol Lynch, president of Sandoz US and head of North America, commented: “Sandoz respectfully disagrees with the Court’s ruling, which prevents us from launching an additional treatment option for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

Louis Goss

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