Amgen prevails against Roche's Mircera

Amgen HQ

In its ongoing fight with Roche, Amgen now has stronger backing from a federal court. The U.S. District Court in Boston ruled yesterday that Amgen should get a permanent injunction against Roche's anemia med Mircera. This decision cements a previous jury's conclusion that Mircera violates Amgen's patents.

The court's ruling contains just the kind of language drugmakers like to see: "Failure to enter a permanent injunction...would risk undermining the incentives for innovation that have produced, and hopefully will continue to produce, medical advances that extend and enhance the value of life."

You'll recall that Amgen's earlier request for a permanent injunction was tabled by a Massachusetts judge, who wanted to consider granting Roche a license to sell Mircera in the U.S. The judge said that if the Swiss drugmaker met certain conditions--such as paying royalties to Amgen--he might deny the injunction request. Roche agreed to those conditions, but the judge realized he didn't have the technical expertise to determine fair pricing for Mircera, and so brought in an independent expert to take a look.

Now, though, that's not an option. Though the permanent injunction can't be granted until an appeal of the preliminary injunction is resolved, Amgen, of course, is pleased. The ruling "reaffirms the infringement and validity of our patents," general counsel David Scott said in a statement.

- see the Amgen release
- read the Wall Street Journal story