Gilead Sciences Inc.
), which boasts of a strong product portfolio, has been facing
patent related issues on many of its key drugs. Players like
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
) are looking to introduce their generic versions of Gilead's key
HIV drugs like Atripla, Truvada and Viread. The entry of generic
versions of the company's HIV drugs would be a major blow to
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In another patent related issue,
Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) filed patent infringement and interference lawsuits in the U.S.
against Gilead related to the latter's high potential hepatitis C
virus (HCV) candidate, sofosbuvir.
We expect sofosbuvir to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) shortly (target date: Dec 8, 2013) after
receiving a positive opinion from an advisory panel of the FDA.
The candidate offers significant commercial potential with many
HCV patients postponing their treatments awaiting sofosbuvir's
entry into the market. EU approval of the HCV candidate is also
The patent infringement lawsuit has been filed by Idenix with the
district court in Boston ,Mass. The lawsuit alleges infringement
of a couple of patents (6,914,054 and 7,608,597), co-owned by
Idenix, dealing with the methodology of treating HCV patients
using 2'-methyl nucleosides.
The patent infringement and interference lawsuit filed with
another U.S. district court alleges that Gilead infringes another
Idenix co-owned patent (7,608,600). The patent deals with the
methodology for treating HCV patients using 2'-methyl-2'-fluoro
nucleosides. Moreover, Idenix also claims interference between
the above patent and a U.S. patent (8,415,322) of Gilead. Idenix
has asked the court to declare Gilead's patent invalid.
Both biopharmaceutical stocks Gilead and Idenix carry a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the biopharma space
) which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).