Biotech News: United Therapeutics Remains Strong Due to a Patent Case Win

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United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR) shares surged approximately 28.5% after the company announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has rendered a favorable decision in the Remodulin patent infringement lawsuit against Sandoz, the generic division of Novartis (NVS).

As per the court’s ruling, Sandoz will not be able to launch its generic version of Remodulin until patent no. 6,765,117 protecting Remodulin expires. The said patent is set to expire in Oct 2017.

The court also upheld another patent (patent no. 7,999,007) covering Remodulin, which is set to expire in 2029. However, it was found that Novartis’ generic version of Remodulin did not infringe the ‘007 patent. United Therapeutics had filed the lawsuit against Novartis shortly after the latter had submitted an abbreviated new drug application to the FDA looking to market its generic version of Remodulin.

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Investors seemed to be pleased with the court’s decision on Remodulin. The earlier-than-expected entry of generic versions of Remodulin would have impacted United Therapeutics’ financial performance and growth prospects severely.

Remodulin, an injectable formulation of treprostinil, is indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in patients with New York Heart Association Class II-IV symptoms. Remodulin is approved for both subcutaneous and intravenous use. In the first half of 2014, the product generated revenues of approximately $274.3 million, up 14.8% from the year ago period. The product accounts for almost 45% of the company’s revenues.

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The favorable ruling has removed a significant overhang on the shares. United Therapeutics is a Strong Buy stock. Some equally well-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Gilead Sciences Inc and Amgen. Stay Tuned to for more updates related to the biotech sector.

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