Court rules against Merck in Nasonex patent case


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled against the company in a patent infringement suit against Canada-based drug maker Apotex.

The patent at issue in this case — U.S. Patent No. 6,127,353 — covers mometasone furoate monohydrate, the active ingredient in Nasonex. The patent provides exclusivity for this form of mometasone until April 3, 2018. Apotex is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a generic version of Nasonex. The court ruled that while the patent is valid, the release of Apotex's product would not infringe on the patent.

"While we are pleased with the court's ruling that the patent for Nasonex is valid, we are disappointed the court ruled that this patent would not be infringed by the Apotex product. We believe the patent for Nasonex in the United States is valid and would be infringed by the Apotex product," Merck EVP and general counsel Bruce Kuhlik said. "Today's decision reflects just one step in the lengthy patent litigation process, and we plan to review all of our options, including a likely appeal of the decision."

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