Hepatitis C Spurs Unusual Patent Wars Among Big Drug Makers

Published: Jul 21, 2014

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The intense rivalry to grab a dominating share of the lucrative market for hepatitis C treatments has largely focused on potential pricing and clinical research showing which medicines can cure the largest number of patients in the shortest amount of time.

But there is another intriguing aspect to this classic pharmaceutical horse race – a series of lawsuits filed over patents. Specifically, Gilead Sciences GILD +0.53%, which was first out of the gate with the expensive and successful Sovaldi treatment, is fighting no fewer than three other drug makers in court – Merck, AbbVie ABBV -1.57% and Roche – over valuable patent rights.

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