Scrambling to generate needed revenue, Roche has filed an appeal of a preliminary court injunction that bars US sales of its Mircera anemia med. The move comes as US District Court Judge William Young considers whether to require Amgen to license its patents to its Aranesp and Epogen drugs in return for a licensing fee. To date, Amgen has rejected Roche's overtures and, instead, pressed for an injunction, citing its court victory last fall in which Roche's Mircera was found to violate Amgen's patents.
In a statement, Roche says "the judge in the federal court encouraged Roche to appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Roche filed its notice of appeal today and plans to vigorously pursue this appeal. Roche maintains its position that all of Amgen’s patents... asserted against Roche are invalid and not infringed."
Amgen sent us this statement: "A preliminary injunction remains in place preventing Roche from commercializing (Mircera) in the US in violation of Amgen's patents. Amgen believes a permanent injunction is the appropriate remedy in this case. We look forward to arguing the case for protection of intellectual property against a proven infringer in the appellate court. Rewarding theft of intellectual property discourages investment in developing innovative treatments for unmet medical needs." It is unclear how long an appeal may take and or when Young will make a final decision.
"Our preliminary opinion is that this is a 'positive' decision for Amgen, as we believe the Appeals court will be less likely to allow Roche to launch under a license agreement," Bear Stearns analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote in a research note, according to Reuters.