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Roche settles with Regeneron over Eylea patent case

Swiss firm also enters drug discovery collaboration with Vernalis through its Genentech division

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has made an agreement to partially settle US patent litigation with Roche's subsidiary Genentech concerning Regeneron's Eylea (aflibercept) injection.

US biotech Regeneron will make payments to Genentech based on US sales of the treatment for eye condition wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) up until May 7, 2016.

If the drug makes sales of $400m, Genentech will receive $60m from Regeneron.

Further to this payment, for cumulative sales of Eylea between $400m and $3bn, Regeneron will pay royalties of 4.75 per cent, while royalties of 5.5 per cent will be paid for cumulative sales of the treatment over $3bn.

The settled litigation related to VEGF receptor proteins in Eylea, which Regeneron now holds a non-exclusive licence to.

Some matters concerning the patent litigation between the two companies not covered by the agreement is still ongoing, however.

Regeneron gained US Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) approval for Eylea in November, 2011, and is a direct competitor with Lucentis (ranibizumab injection), which is marketed in the US by Genentech/Roche and elsewhere by Novartis.

Clinical trials have shown Eylea to offer an advantage to Lucentis however by offering similar effectiveness but at a less frequent dosing.

The drug is co-developed with Bayer, with the German company naming it as one of four potential blockbuster drugs in its portfolio.

Roche and Vernalis enter drug discovery collaboration
Roche's Genentech business has had further dealings this week too, entering a drug discovery collaboration with the UK-based pharma firm Vernalis.

According to a statement, Genentech will use Vernalis' 'fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform' to research compounds for use against an undisclosed target.

Vernalis specialises in developing product candidates in several key areas of disease relating to the central nervous system and oncology therapy fields.

Financial terms of the agreement were also undisclosed.

James Sabry, vice president of Genentech partnering, said: “Genentech constantly seeks collaborations like this one to develop therapies that offer the potential of advancing the standard of care and making a meaningful difference in the lives of patients. We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with Vernalis.”

5th January 2012

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