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US Judge Upholds Validity Of Merck's Vytorin Patent

By Peter Loftus Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES A federal judge has upheld the validity of a U.S. patent covering Merck & Co.'s (MRK) 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;

Stock News for Mylan Inc. (MYL)
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11/19/201503:02:00Shares Of Deal Targets Reflect Regulatory Fear
11/17/201507:30:00Mylan Launches Generic AXERT® Tablets
11/16/201512:50:00Mylan to Buy Back $1 Billion in Stock
11/16/201511:40:00Mylan Authorizes $1 Billion Share Repurchase Plan
11/16/201507:30:00Mylan Launches Generic Viramune XR® Extended-Release Tablets...
11/16/201507:00:00Mylan Launches Generic GLUCOTROL XL® Tablets
11/15/201507:20:02Generic Drugmakers Block Suitors, but Is That Good or Bad News?
11/13/201512:34:03Mylan N.V.'s Hostile Takeover Attempt of Perrigo Fails -- Investors...
11/13/201510:08:00Mylan Loses Hostile Bid for Perrigo--2nd Update
11/13/201509:40:00Mylan Loses Hostile Bid for Perrigo
11/13/201509:34:00Mylan Loses Hostile Bid for Perrigo--Update
11/13/201508:39:00Mylan Announces Results of Offer to Acquire Perrigo and Lapse...
11/12/201523:20:00Mylan Set to Lose in $26 Billion Hostile Takeover Battle for...

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