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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
06/24/201608:00:00Merck to Hold Second-Quarter 2016 Sales and Earnings Conference...
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06/20/201612:30:00Results of Phase 2 Study of Merck’s Investigational Beta-Lactamase I...
06/17/201613:35:56Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/17/201613:34:56Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/17/201613:33:19Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/16/201617:08:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Snap 5-day Losing Streak; Dow Reverses...
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06/16/201612:44:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Fall As Investors Worry About Brexit...
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06/16/201610:00:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Industrials Drop 113 Points As Brexit Fears...
06/16/201608:00:00Systematic Review of 58 Publications of Real-World Use of GARDASIL®...
06/16/201606:45:00Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Demonstrates Superior Progression-Free & O...
06/15/201608:30:00Merck Highlights Ongoing Commitment to Fighting Infectious Diseases...
06/14/201602:00:00New Data From GAP Landmark Trial Confirm GRAZAX® Significantly...
06/13/201611:00:00New Data From GAP Landmark Trial Confirm GRAZAX® Prevents Asthma...
06/13/201610:30:00Merck’s Investigational Insulin Glargine, MK-1293, Met Primary E...
06/11/201611:00:00Merck & Pfizer Announce Two Pivotal Phase 3 Studies for Ertugliflozin...
06/09/201619:07:00Merck to Acquire Biotech Company Afferent -- Update
06/09/201618:50:00Merck to Acquire Biotech Company Afferent

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