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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
05/05/201611:10:00Merck Revenue Falls on Generic Competition, Currency -- 2nd Update
05/05/201610:07:00Merck Revenue Falls on Generic Competition, Currency -- Update
05/05/201609:43:00U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
05/05/201608:20:00Merck Revenue Falls on Generic Competition
05/05/201608:10:00Merck Revenue Falls on Generic Competition, Currency
05/05/201606:54:43Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/05/201606:45:00Merck Announces First-Quarter 2016 Financial Results
05/04/201608:00:00Merck to Present at the Deutsche Bank 41st Annual Health Care...
05/03/201603:05:00Gilead Seeks to Tame Merck Case -- WSJ
05/02/201619:57:00Judge Allows More Evidence in Patent Dispute After Gilead Says...
05/02/201617:51:00Judge Allows More Evidence in Patent Dispute After Gilead Says...
05/02/201616:50:00Judge Allows More Evidence in Gilead-Merck Patent Dispute
05/02/201616:37:00Judge Allows More Evidence in Patent Dispute After Gilead Says...
04/28/201618:11:00Gilead Reports Drop in Hepatitis C Drug Revenue -- Update
04/28/201617:00:00Gilead Reports Drop in Hepatitis C Drug Revenue
04/28/201608:50:00AbbVie Agrees to Buy Stemcentrx, Reports Jump in Earnings
04/28/201608:00:00Christina Applegate and Merck Urge Insomnia Sufferers to Learn...
04/27/201608:00:00Merck, the American Diabetes Association and America's Diabetes...
04/27/201601:00:00Journal of the American Medical Association Publishes Phase III...
04/26/201611:39:00Journal of the American Medical Association Publishes Phase III...

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