EU patent office revokes Celgene Revlimid patent; appeal planned
(Reuters) – Celgene Corp on Thursday said the European Patent Office revoked a key patent on the company’s flagship multiple myeloma drug Revlimid, a move that could shave a year or two from the medicine’s exclusivity in Europe.
The so-called polymorph patent in question would have kept cheaper versions of Revlimid off the European market until September 2024.
The New Jersey-based biotechnology company said it plans to appeal the ruling, a process that could take at least three years to run its course.
“While this would remain under appeal, the patent remains valid and enforceable during that time,” said Celgene spokesman Greg Geissman.
Other Revlimid patents provide Celgene with protection in Europe through 2022 or 2023.
“The worst-case scenario in the EU for Celgene would be generic entry in July 2022, after the expiration of their composition of matter patent,” Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum said in a research note, adding that the appeals process could take as long as five years.
A similar patent challenge is under way in the United States. But due to differences in U.S. patent law, both the company and analysts have said the European ruling is highly unlikely to be a predictor of the outcome in the world’s largest market.
Revlimid, which had worldwide sales of $1.34 billion in the first quarter, accounts for about 60 percent of total Celgene revenue.
Celgene shares were up $2.8 percent at $111.66 on Nasdaq.
(Editing by Alden Bentley and Ted Botha)