Idenix seen as unlikely to prevail against Gilead in HCV patent interference

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Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDIX) faces an uphill battle to sufficiently demonstrate enablement in its ongoing patent interference against Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) regarding their respective hepatitis C (HCV) intellectual property, attorneys said. Idenix is ultimately unlikely to prevail on the interference, they noted.

On 22 March 2013, Idenix announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (USPTO) issued a decision in the first phase of ongoing interference concerning Idenix’s patent applications (U.S. Patent Application 12/131,868) and an issued Gilead patent (U.S. Patent 7,429,572) that covers certain 2'-methyl- 2'-fluoro nucleoside compounds useful in the treatment of HCV. Idenix was determined to have a later application filing than Gilead, thus designating the former as the “junior party” and the latter as the “senior party.”

The second phase of the interference is expected to commence in 2Q13 and will determine which party was first to invent. The party who is deemed first to invent ultimately prevails in the interference.

“The decision from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences validates Gilead’s perspective that we were the first to invent the compounds involved in the interference, as described in the ‘572 patent,” a Gilead spokesperson commented. Idenix declined to comment.

This BioPharm Insight article, published on April 4, 2013, features Snell & Wilmer Attorney Bill Mulholland.

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