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Celgene shares surge 7% after resolution of patent infringement suit

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Investing.com -- Shares in Celgene Corporation (O:CELG) surged 7% in after-hours trading after the New Jersey-based biotech company announced it reached an agreement with Natco Pharma Ltd. of India, Natco's U.S. partner, Arrow International Limited, and Arrow's parent company, Watson Laboratories, Inc. on a patent infringement settlement related to its top-selling blood cancer drug.

In October, 2010, Celgene filed a lawsuit against Natco in an effort to keep the generic version of Revlimid, a drug for patients with multiple myeloma and other blood cancers, off the market. At the time, Celgene reported projected annual sales in excess of $2.25 billion for Lenalidomide, the drug it markets as Revlimid. Ever since, Revlimid sales have grown exponentially, morphing into the company's highest performing drug. In 2015, Celgene anticipates that Revlimid sales will approach $5.8 billion on the year, after it reported a 12% increase in revenues in the third quarter.

As part of the settlement, the parties will file consent judgments with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey that enjoin Natco from marketing generic lenalidomide before the expiration of the patents-in-suit, except as provided for in the settlement, Celgene said in a statement.

"We believe strongly in our patent estate for Revlimid, and that this settlement appropriately recognizes the strength of our patents. This settlement provides clarity around the future of Revlimid, and we will continue to focus on developing our many important pipeline assets, which provide great potential promise to patients with unmet medical needs," said Bob Hugin, Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation. "We remain confident in the strength of our patents, and will continue to vigorously defend them."

Celgene also agreed in the settlement to provide Natco with a license to Celgene's patents required to manufacture and sell an unlimited quantity of generic lenalidomide in the U.S. starting in January, 2026. Natco will also be granted a volume-limited license to sell generic lenalidomide in the U.S. beginning in March, 2022, according to the terms of the settlement. Last week, Natco and Alvogen agreed on a deal to settle an infringement suit with Gilead related to the generic versions of Tamiflu, an antiviral prescription used to treat the flu virus.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Shares in Celgene surged 7.86 or 7.07% to 119.00 in after-hours trading.

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

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