Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) won a $2.54 billion reversal of the patent verdict. According to a recent report, a federal judge in Delaware has overturned the verdict of a jury that required the company to pay $2.54 billion because the allegation stated that Gilead’s hepatitis C drugs Harvoni and Sovaldi infringed the patent named under the rival Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).
When announced previously this verdict was the largest ever delivered in the patent case in the United States. However, Leonard Stark, the U.S. District Judge in Wilmington, Delaware ruled that the patent of Merck was invalid as it failed to meet the requirement that discloses how to make the treatment covered without undue experimentation.
An official statement from Gilead said that it always believed that the patent was invalid and the company was pleased that the judge confirmed their opinion. Merck, on the other hand, said in its official statement that it planned to appeal and believed that the recent ruling by the judge did not reflect the facts of the case.
The last verdict was given in December 2016 following a trial in which the jurors concluded that the patent of Merck on the treatment of hepatitis C acquired in 2014 after buying Idenix Pharmaceuticals was valid. Hepatitis C is a viral disease that has been estimated to infect around 3.2 million Americans causing liver inflammation leading to liver failure.
Sovaldi and Harvoni are the direct-acting antivirals that have revolutionized the treatment showing cure rates of more than 90% as shown in the clinical trials.
Trade Analysts Believe Gilead Offers Attractive Upside
In the fall of last year, Gilead made an announcement stating that it was making an addition to its stable of offerings by purchasing Kite Pharma which was a developer and manufacturer of cancer immunotherapeutic products and therapies. The biotech company’s shares were relatively flat last year on concerns about pricing of drugs and increased competition for its top-selling hepatitis C drugs.
Even then, the third-quarter EPS of $2.27 and revenue of $6.5 billion both exceeded the expectations of an analyst which is why they believe that the biotech giant can offer attractive long-term upside.