Novartis challenges Soliris patent in EU

Alexion Pharmaceuticals says in a filing that Novartis has filed an opposition to its European patent on Soliris (eculizumab), a treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare blood disorder. As Reuters reports, the company derives all its revenue from the product. And earlier this year, Forbes named it as the single most expensive drug with a price tag of $409,500.

Alexion has applied for supplementary protection certificates in the 14 European countries where the patent issued. Together with the patent, issued SPCs would include a prohibition on the sale or use by third parties of Soliris until May 1, 2020 for all approved indications, the company says in a filing.

Soliris received orphan drug designation from the European Commission for the treatment of patients with PNH in October 2003 and for the treatment of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome in August 2009.

Shares of the company were down 41 cents at $57.35 in early morning trade Thursday. They had reached a 52-week high of $58.67 Wednesday, Reuters notes.

- see Alexion's filing
- get more from Reuters