Patent complaint filed over new Bristol-Myers arthritis drug |

Patent complaint filed over new Bristol-Myers arthritis drug

WALTHAM, Mass. – Repligen Corp. said Friday it has joined the University of Michigan in a lawsuit alleging a newly approved rheumatoid arthritis drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb Corp. violates a patent.New York City-based Bristol-Myers Squibb won federal approval last month to market a drug under the trade name Orencia as a treatment for the chronic disease, which affects more than 2 million people in the United States. Analysts have estimated the drug could eventually reach $1 billion in annual sales.Repligen, a Waltham-based drug development company, said it holds exclusive rights to the patent, which grew out of research by the university and the United States Navy. The patent covers therapeutic uses of a molecule that plays a role in regulating the body’s immune response, which goes haywire in rheumatoid arthritis patients and attacks joints.The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Texas’ Eastern District, which Repligen President and Chief Executive Walter Herlihy said “has a good track record” in efficiently handling patent cases.”Our patent recognizes the important inventions made by our academic and government licensors,” Herlihy said. “We intend to fully protect Repligen’s and their patent rights, by seeking a royalty-bearing license agreement with BMS whether through litigation or negotiation.”Bristol-Myers Squibb spokesman David Rosen said, “We are reviewing the complaint and will respond through appropriate legal channels.”Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb were up 12 cents at $22.75 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Repligen were down 13 cents, or 2.8 percent, at $4.26 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.Vail, Colorado

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