Log in
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Merck & Co., Inc.    MRK

News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector news 

US Judge Upholds Validity Of Merck's Vytorin Patent

04/27/2012 | 06:03pm US/Eastern
   By Peter Loftus 

A federal judge has upheld the validity of a U.S. patent covering Merck & Co.'s (>> Merck & Co., Inc.) Vytorin cholesterol-lowering drug, which could stave off competing generic copies for several years.

In an opinion released Friday, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares in federal court in Newark, N.J., said a patent for Vytorin was valid and enforceable.

Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said in a recent regulatory filing it expects its U.S. exclusivity for Vytorin and a related drug, Zetia, to expire in April 2017.

Mylan Inc. (MYL) had applied for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a generic version of Vytorin before its patent protection expired, arguing that the patent was invalid and unenforceable.

Schering-Plough, which was acquired by Merck in 2009, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Mylan in late 2009, seeking to block Mylan's product. A trial was held in December 2011, leading to Judge Linares's opinion Friday.

On a conference call with analysts Friday morning, Merck Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier said he was anticipating a favorable decision. "We believe this is a patent that is valid and enforceable," he said.

A Mylan spokeswoman couldn't immediately be reached.

Earlier Friday, Merck reported first-quarter Vytorin sales of $444 million and Zetia sales of $614 million.

Merck previously reached a settlement of patent litigation for Zetia with generics manufacturer Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. The pact will allow Glenmark to sell generic Zetia in December 2016, subject to final regulatory approval.

-By Peter Loftus, Dow Jones Newswires; +1-215-982-5581; peter.loftus@dowjones.com

Stocks mentioned in the article : Merck & Co., Inc.
React to this article
Latest news on MERCK & CO., INC.
11/25 MERCK : Researchers from Merck & Company Detail Findings in Type 2 Diabetes [Saf..
11/25 MERCK : Study Results from Merck & Company Broaden Understanding of HIV/AIDS (Me..
11/25 ELI LILLY : Lilly and Merck Expand Immuno-oncology Collaboration with Phase III ..
11/24 MERCK : Announces Increased Quarterly Dividend
11/23 Pfizer-Allergan to take healthcare M&A deals to above $600 billion in 2015
11/23 Timeline - Saunders gets key job as Pfizer, Allergan combine
11/23 Pfizer set to buy Allergan for more than $150 bln
11/23 MERCK : MoH ups war on counterfeit drugs
11/21 MERCK : Announces Initial Results for KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) with Novel Immun..
11/20DJCelldex Vaccine Rindopepimut Cuts Death Risk From Brain Cancer, Study Shows
News chart
Full-screen chart
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials