Sovaldi is perhaps one of the most lucrative drugs of the 21st century. Surely, the drug, which is necessary for the treatment of hepatitis C, brings in billions and billions of dollars’ worth of business for Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), the company introduced Sovaldi to the world.
However, just like all other pharmaceutical successes, Sovaldi draws in a lot of attention towards Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). In the case of Gilead Sciences Inc., the heat comes from all those company that claim patents have been infringed by Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) which they had registered for the creation of a hepatitis C drug. A recent case has brought Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) in the spotlight yet again. This time, Sovaldi patent rights held by the company are been challenged by Idenix Pharamceuticals, a company which was recently acquired by Merck (NYSE:MRK).
Idenix Pharmaceuticals claims it already possessed patent rights to the Sovaldi drug way before the patent rights for the same acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi is famous because it is a highly effective drug against Hepatitis C, and perhaps the most prescribed in Hepatitis C treatments. Whichever company holds patent rights to the drug is entitled to make it itself, and/or be entitled to royalties worth millions of dollars every year.
However, in a recent court batter between the two companies, Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) blatantly crushed the case brought forward by Idenix Pharmaceuticals. The company argued that the patents held by Idenix Pharmaceuticals did not specify a compound directly aimed at a hepatitis drug, let alone Sovaldi.
The patents held by Idenix Pharmaceuticals, it was brought to light, covered billions of different compounds, one of which also happens to be the one used in Sovaldi. However, for a patent to stand, at least in the pharma business, it needs to specify the drug it is intended for. As Idenix Pharmaceuticals failed to specify which of its compound was for a hepatitis drug, it failed to defend its position in court. Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) won the case.
However, this result is of the lawsuit fought in the UK. Idenix has challenged Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) patents in Germany, Canada, and Australia, all throughout 2015. A court battle between Gilead Sciences and Idenix is also to be fought in France, but no particular date has been specified for it.
In the US, the drugs origins have been credited to Pharmasset, a company later bought by Gilead Sciences Inc., by the patent office in the US. However, Idenix is challenging this decision in a district court in the US.
Investors have responded favorably to the UK court’s decision regarding patent rights of the Sovaldi, because the hepatitis C drug formulates the backbone of the company’s business. Regardless of the decision in other courts all over the world regarding this particular case, investors seem to have regained confidence in the company, which is evident by the increase in its trading volume on the NASDAQ exchange.