Idenix Files Lawsuit vs. Gilead Again - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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Patent protection for drugs is an essential part of the pharma and biotech sector. Companies seek strong patent protection so as to prevent the entry of generic competition for their drugs.

Innovator companies often spend 10−15 years to develop a drug and bring it to market. With a lot of R&D dollars invested in the development of these drugs, innovator companies look to gain exclusivity so that they can recover their investment in product development.

Late last week, Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( IDIX ) announced that it filed three patent infringement lawsuits against Gilead Sciences Inc. ( GILD ) in France, Germany and the U.K.

According to Idenix, Gilead infringes  Idenix's recently-granted, co-owned European patent EP 1 523 489 covering 2'-methyl-2'-fluoro nucleosides for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Idenix believes that Gilead's HCV drug, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) infringes the European patent.

This is not the first Sovaldi-related patent infringement lawsuit to be filed by Idenix. Late last year, Idenix had filed two separate lawsuits in the U.S. Sovaldi is an important new entrant in the HCV market and has blockbuster potential.

Meanwhile, Idenix is working towards strengthening its pipeline. Idenix and partner Janssen are conducting a 12-week phase II study (HELIX-2) on samatasvir, simeprevir and TMC647055/r (with and without ribavirin) to evaluate their effect on genotype 1 HCV patients (previously untreated as well as previously treated with interferon and ribavirin). Data from the HELIX-2 should be out in the second half of 2014.

We expect investor focus to remain on pipeline updates from the company.

Idenix currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Alkermes plc ( ALKS ) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ALXN ). Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Gilead also carries a Zacks Rank #1.

ALKERMES INC (ALKS): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALEXION PHARMA (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis Report

GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis Report

IDENIX PHARMA (IDIX): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: ALKS , ALXN , GILD , IDIX

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