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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
12/18/201408:51:07Merck Acquires OncoEthix for Up to $375 Million
12/09/201416:08:36Merck Reaffirms Commitment to Cubist Deal Despite Patent Ruling...
12/09/201415:54:02MARKET SNAPSHOT: The S&P 500 Recorded Its Biggest Drop In Nearly...
12/09/201415:50:44Merck Reaffirms Commitment to Cubist Deal Despite Patent Ruling
12/08/201422:16:42Merck to Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 Billion -- 6th Update
12/08/201419:12:00Merck to Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 Billion -- 5th Update
12/08/201419:11:47Merck to Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 Billion -- 4th Update
12/08/201419:04:54MARKET SNAPSHOT: Energy Companies Drag U.S. Stocks Lower
12/08/201418:56:04Merck to Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 Billion -- 3rd Update
12/08/201418:54:55U.S. Stocks Down
12/08/201418:51:53Correction to U.S. Stocks Story
12/08/201418:51:25U.S. Stocks Edge Lower
12/08/201418:49:08Correction to Merck-Cubist Deal Story
12/08/201418:02:18MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks: Futures Fall As Global Growth Concerns...
12/08/201412:39:54MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks: Futures Falling, With Dow Poised...
11/24/201409:57:19Bristol-Myers, Five Prime to Collaborate on Immunotherapy
11/17/201411:41:20U.S. Stocks Bounce Back from Early Loses
11/17/201405:11:44Pfizer, Germany's Merck to Develop Tumor Treatment -- Update
10/27/201416:37:41MARKET SNAPSHOT: Energy Stocks Sap S&P 500
10/27/201414:06:16MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Retreat; Energy Stocks Sell Off

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