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Gilead Sciences to pay Merck $200 million for infringing two patents

Staff writer |
A federal jury in California ordered Gilead Sciences to pay Merck two blockbuster drugs for treating hepatitis C.

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Last year, Gilead recorded a combined $12.5 billion in U.S. sales from the two drugs, which notched a total of $19.1 billion in global sales.

"We are pleased that the jury recognized that patent protections are essential to the development of new medical treatments," Merck said.

"The compounds and methods at issue in this case facilitated significant advances in the treatment of patients with HCV infection, and achieving these advancements required many years of research and significant investment by Merck and its partners."

Gilead said Merck didn't contribute to the development of the drugs and "assumed none of the risk" in the discovery of sofosburvir, the key active ingredient in both medicines.

"We do not believe Merck is entitled to any amount of damages. We continue to believe the Merck patents are invalid."

If the judge upholds the jury's verdict, Gilead said it would appeal.

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