Novartis AG’s (NOVN.EB) shares traded sharply higher late on Thursday after news of a ruling that suggested that market exclusivity for the company’s multiple-sclerosis blockbuster drug Gilenya in the U.S. will likely be extended.
“A favorable resolution of the dosage regimen patent litigation” may lengthen the period in which the drug is free from generic competition, according to a Novartis document seen by Dow Jones Newswires.
The note was sent out at around midday Thursday, two analysts told Dow Jones, and shares started climbing around that time. One of the analysts said the market wasn’t expecting the decision, so that sent the share price up.
According to the document, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a decision upholding the validity of the dosage-regimen patent on Wednesday. The decision can be appealed, the document said.
Gilenya had sales of $3.19 billion in 2017, according to the company’s annual report.
Novartis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shares traded up 4.2% at CHF79.06 at 1525 GMT.
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