Novartis Planning to Bring Dispute Over Drug Patent to U.S. Supreme Court

By Scott Kanowsky — Novartis AG (SIX:) says it plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the validity of its patent for a dosing regimen of its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and reverse a federal appeals court decision made earlier this summer.

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant vowed to defend its position “vigorously,” but flagged the process of appealing the case to the Supreme Court may take several months.

In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declared that the patent for the treatment was invalid. Novartis claimed that this ruling could pave the way for HEC Pharm Co. (HK:) – the firm challenging the patent – and other drug companies to release a generic version of Gilenya, “pending any other judicial actions.”

Novartis warned that it expects to lose $300 million in annual sales if the generic version is released. However, full-year group revenue and core operating income growth is still estimated to be in the mid-single digit range.

Shares in Novartis slipped in late morning European trading on Wednesday.



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