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Biogen shares soar 32% on MS drug patent win over Mylan

(Reuters) - Biogen Inc’s shares surged as much as 32% on Wednesday after the drugmaker won a favorable U.S. patent ruling for its main multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera in a battle with Mylan NV.

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The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an administrative court run by the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office, ruled that Mylan had failed to demonstrate that some claims were not patentable.

Tecfidera is Biogen’s top-selling drug, generating sales of $4.43 billion in 2019, or 30.8% of total revenue. It has been the drugmaker’s main growth driver since its launch in 2013.

“The stock will surely move higher on the headline news and even higher over time, as the decision today makes it easier for investors to own for Alzheimer’s later in 2020-21”, said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.

Biogen, in a stunning reversal, in October revived plans to pursue an approval for its Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab, months after deciding to scrap trials of the drug.

The company is “actively preparing for the potential launch of aducanumab with an initial focus on the United States,” Chief Executive Officer Michel Vounatsos said on the company’s earnings call last week.

An approval would make aducanumab the first drug for the memory-robbing disorder to hit the market.

While the ruling will extend Tecfidera’s patent into 2028, Wedbush analyst Laura Chico questioned the ability of the patent to withstand further challenges.

Mylan said it strongly disagreed with the decision and planned to pursue all options for appeal.

There will still likely be an appeal and also a separate generic litigation court case, Jefferies analyst Yee said.

Biogen’s shares were trading up about 17% at $332.36 in late afternoon trading after touching a high of $374.99.

At the session’s high, the company was valued at $67 billion, compared with $51.2 billion as of Tuesday close.

FEBRUARY 5, 2020


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