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Gilead Sciences wins $ 1.2 billion in patent claims



(Reuters) – A US Court of Appeals on Thursday released a $ 1.2 billion verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc. and found a patent on a cancer therapy it accused of infringing was invalid, in a fight against the rival Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

The two companies have been involved in a case alleging that Yescarta, CAR-T cell cancer immunotherapy from Gilead's Kite Pharma unit, infringed a patent for a similar treatment from Bristol's Juno Therapeutics.

Last year, a federal judge increased the damages from a jury trial and ordered Gilead to pay Bristol Myers $ 1.2 billion in patent infringement cases. The decision on Thursday by the American Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision.

Bristol Myers said in a statement that it did not agree with the latest ruling and would request a review of the Federal Circuit's decision.

Gilead and Kite & # 39 ;s lawyer Josh Rosenkranz of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gilead shares rose 0.3%, while Bristol shares closed down 0.5% at noon.

The Gilead drug, Yescarta, belongs to a class of groundbreaking cancer treatments called chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, or CAR-T, which reprograms the body's own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.

Gilead bought Kite Pharma, which developed Yescarta, for $ 1

1.9 billion in 2017, with the treatment that secured US approval that year. It recorded sales of $ 338 million in the first six months of this year.

A 2019 jury found that Kite intentionally infringed and awarded the Juno and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, which licenses the patent to Juno, $ 778 million. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez increased the award to $ 1.2 billion in Los Angeles federal court last year.

Memorial Sloan Kettering did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bristol Myers acquired Juno and its CAR-T program with its $ 74 billion acquisition of Celgene in 2019.

US Chief Justice Kimberly Moore wrote to a unanimous panel of three judges that the relevant parts of Juno's patents were invalid because they lacked sufficient written description and details.

Judge Moore, along with District Judges Sharon Prost and Kathleen O & # 39; Malley, were present.

During an oral argument in July, Judge Moore compared the patent description to trying to identify a specific car by saying that it has four wheels.

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