The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) in a patent infringement case between the biotechnology company and rivals Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) and Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) with regard to its cholesterol drug Repatha.
Amgen Loses Patent Dispute
In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision that invalidated two patents on Amgen’s PCSK9 cholesterol drug Repatha. The case dates back to 2014, when Amgen filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sanofi and its partner Regeneron over their rival medicine PCSK9 drug Praluent, which was under development at that time.
Both drugs help lower bad cholesterol by blocking the protein PCSK9. Repatha and Praluent won the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval just weeks apart in 2015. In 2019, a judge ruled that certain claims regarding the two Amgen patents covering Repatha were invalid. Amgen took the matter to the federal appeals court, which rejected the company’s bid to reverse the ruling in 2021. Amgen then approached the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2022.
Sanofi and Regeneron welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling. Regeneron’s executive vice president Joseph LaRosa said, “We’re gratified that the Supreme Court has affirmed the position we have held for nearly 10 years that Amgen’s PCSK9 patents were overly broad and inconsistent with established case law.”
Repatha generated $1.3 billion in global sales last year. Regeneron sold $130 million worth of Praluent in the U.S. in 2022, while Sanofi generated over $400 million from the sale of the drug in the rest of the world, per Reuters.
The defeat in the patent lawsuit is the second blow to Amgen investors this week. On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit to block Amgen’s $27.8 billion proposed acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HZNP).
Is Amgen a Good Stock to Buy?
Wall Street is sidelined on Amgen, with a Hold consensus rating based on five Buys, five Holds, and two Sells. The average price target of $259 suggests 15.5% upside.