U.S. judge blocks Sanofi, Regeneron from selling cholesterol drug

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By Brendan Pierson

<span class="articleLocation”>A federal judge on Thursday blocked Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc from
selling their cholesterol drug Praluent, a victory for Amgen Inc
, which had accused them of infringing its patents.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Delaware ordered that
the ban not take effect for 30 days to give Sanofi and Regeneron
time to appeal.

Amgen was up 4.9 percent in after hours trading, while
Sanofi’s U.S. shares and Regeneron were down 4 and 1.1 percent,
respectively.

Amgen had sought the ban in an October 2014 lawsuit against
Paris-based Sanofi and Tarrytown, New York-based Regeneron. It
said Praluent, a drug intended to lower bad LDL cholesterol by
blocking a protein known as PCSK9, infringed its patents related
to the protein.

Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen makes a rival drug
called Repatha.

A jury found Amgen’s patents valid in March, and Robinson
denied Sanofi and Regeneron’s motion overturn that verdict on
Tuesday.

Money damages have not been set. The defendants said after
the verdict that they planned to appeal to the U.S. Federal
Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews patent disputes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Praluent and
Repatha to reduce bad cholesterol in 2015.

The drugs are more costly than other treatments targeting
bad cholesterol, with a list price topping $14,000 annually.



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