Lawsuit Filed Against Gilead for Patent Infringement on Hepatitis C Treatments

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The University of Minnesota is suing Gilead Sciences Inc. for allegedly infringing on a patent when it marketed 3 Hepatitis C medications that contained sofosbuvir, including Sovaldi, Harvoni and Epclusa.

What’s the Problem?

September 12, 2016 – According to the lawsuit, all 3 Hep C drugs are covered by patent rights assigned to the University of Minnesota by Carston R. Wagner, PhD, Professor and Endowed Chair, Department of Medicinal Chemistry. The complaint alleges that Wagner received the patent in August 2014, and that the structural formula of sofosbuvir is protected under the patent.

The suit contends that the patent covers antiviral compounds and methods for using those compounds to treat Hepatitis C and other viral infections. Additionally, it claims that Sovaldi, Harvoni and Epclusa incorporate contributions of Dr. Wagner which are protected by the patent.

“Gilead has reaped tens of billions of dollars in the sales of those drugs, without the University’s authorization and without compensating the University,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit is the 2nd filed against Gilead over its Hep C treatments. In March, a federal jury ordered the company to pay Merck & Co. $200 million for infringing on patents for Sovaldi and Harvoni. That verdict was later overturned when a judge ruled there was misconduct by a Merck attorney.

The new lawsuit — Regents of the University of Minnesota v. Gilead Sciences, Inc. — was filed on August 30, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under case number 0:16-cv-02915.

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