The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reexamination of Merck's
The actual review might not be that bad for Merck. Singulair's patent expires in 2012, and it can take about two years for the PTO office to review a patent, and then there's an appeals process. By the time a final decision is made, the patent might be close to expiring, anyway.
However, Teva Pharmaceuticals
Sales of other allergy drugs could also be hurt if Teva gets the patent overturned. Patients taking sanofi-aventis'
It hasn't been a good week for Merck and the possible loss of drugs. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson officially asked for arbitration in its dispute with Schering-Plough, which Merck is in the process of buying. The two are fighting over their marketing agreement for anti-inflammatory drugs Remicade and Simponi. It wasn't a big surprise; last week, Schering-Plough said in Securities and Exchange Commission documents that Johnson & Johnson had told Schering-Plough that it planned to arbitrate.
The useful life of all drugs eventually comes to an end. But today, Merck's investors hope Singulair's life isn't cut short.
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