In a high-stakes patent lawsuit between CAR-T companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences, BMS has come up with a victory.
After a two-week trial, jurors in California ordered Gilead’s Kite Pharma to pay $752 million to BMS’ Juno Therapeutics and its partners, which sued in 2017 for patent infringement.
A BMS spokesperson said the company is "pleased" with the decision, while a Gilead representative said the company is "steadfast in our opinion" that the patent isn't infringed and is invalid. Gilead said it'll address its concerns in post-trial motions and through a potential appeal.
In its lawsuit, Juno alleged Kite scientific collaborators copied research by scientists at Sloan Kettering to advance Kite’s CAR-T work and eventually win approval for CAR-T cancer med Yescarta. In 2013, Juno exclusively licensed a patent from Sloan Kettering and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center covering the technology.
In 2017, Kite scored a FDA approval for Yescarta; Juno contended the company was infringing the patent it licensed by marketing the med.
Following a series of deals, Juno is now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Celgene first bought the CAR-T-focused biotech for $9 billion, and BMS just closed its massive Celgene merger. Kite Pharma joined Gilead under a 2017 buyout.