Gilead Makes Headway With Merck 'Unclean Hands' Argument
A federal judge reopened a patent infringement case after finding an "unclean hands" argument compelling enough to consider, in which Gilead Sciences Inc. alleged one of Merck & Co. Inc.'s patent attorneys had lied about not being on a confidential conference call where chemical structure details about the predecessor to Sovaldi were discussed.
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A jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which decided earlier in the week that Gilead Sciences Inc. infringed two of Merck & Co. Inc.'s hepatitis C drug patents, determined on March 24 that Gilead should pay its rival $200m – a sum much lower than what Merck sought when the companies' patent dispute began in 2013.
Merck & Co. gained the FDA's go-ahead on Jan. 28 to market Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) as a treatment for adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes (GTs) 1 or 4 infection, with or without ribavirin (RBV).
With new funding in hand, Moderna and its infectious disease venture Valera are going full-speed ahead with a Zika vaccine, taking an mRNA approach, which they said could be a more rapid strategy to try to stop the disease.