March 14, 2019 / 1:14 PM / 5 days ago

U.S. court rejects Alvogen's patent challenge for Celgene's cancer drug

(Reuters) - The U.S. patent office on Thursday rejected a filing by Alvogen Pine Brook Llc for a review challenging patents on Celgene Corp’s blockbuster myeloma drug Revlimid.

Shares of Celgene were up 1.2 percent at $88.33 in early trading.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a court run by the U.S. patent office, said it was denying Alvogen’s petition for an inter-partes review on the patents of the drug.

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co in January said it would buy Celgene for about $74 billion, to expand its pipeline of cancer drugs.

The court’s decision helps in avoiding a potential issue that could unnerve investors ahead of the merger votes, RBC Capital Markets analysts wrote in a research note.

Revlimid, Celgene’s cancer drug that brought in $2.55 billion revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018, could face loss of exclusivity from 2022 onwards in the United States.

Bristol-Myers has been defending the Celgene takeover as its “best path forward” in the face of opposition from two of its major shareholders.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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