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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; peter.loftus@dowjones.com

Stock News for Merck (MRK)
DateTimeHeadline
02/04/201608:00:00FDA Approves Merck’s Single-Dose EMEND® (fosaprepitant dimeglumine) fo...
02/03/201616:13:00Merck Posts Lower Revenue and Profit -- 2nd Update
02/03/201616:09:00Correction to Merck Earnings Story
02/03/201613:08:00Merck Revenue and Profit Falls -- Update
02/03/201608:30:00Merck Revenue and Profit Falls
02/03/201608:21:00Merck Revenue and Profit Falls
02/03/201606:57:37Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/03/201606:45:00Merck Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2015 Financial Results
01/28/201621:36:00FDA Approves Merck's New Hepatitis C Treatment -- 2nd Update
01/28/201620:15:00FDA Approves Merck's New Hepatitis C Treatment -- Update
01/28/201619:10:00FDA Approves Merck's New Hepatitis C Treatment
01/28/201619:01:00FDA Approves Merck's New Hepatitis C Treatment
01/28/201619:01:00Merck Receives FDA Approval of ZEPATIER™ (elbasvir and grazoprevir) f...
01/28/201618:59:00Merck Receives FDA Approval of ZEPATIER™ (elbasvir & grazoprevir) f...
01/27/201613:49:00FDA to Review Merck Antitoxin for Clostridium Difficile
01/27/201608:30:00Merck Announces FDA Acceptance of Biologics License Application...
01/25/201605:00:00Affimed Enters into Collaboration with Merck to Evaluate AFM13...
01/19/201610:00:00Data for KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in a Range of Gastrointestinal...
01/17/201621:30:00Samsung Gets European Approval for Enbrel Copy
01/16/201603:02:00Merck Pays $830 Million To Settle Suit Over Vioxx Claims

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