Photo: Courtesy of EPO
12 May 2015Big Pharma

EPO revokes patent for $5bn cancer drug

The European Patent Office has revoked a patent covering biotechnology company Celgene’s cancer drug Revlimid (lenalidomide).

According to Reuters, the decision could mean that generic versions of the drug could enter the European market up to two years before the patent is due to expire in 2024.

Celgene has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

But the company told Reuters it would be appealing against the ruling.

“While this would remain under appeal, the patent remains valid and enforceable during that time,” a Celgene spokesperson said.

According to the report, the other EU patents for Revlimid provide Celgene market exclusivity in Europe until 2022 or 2023.

Revlimid is used to treat multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer.

According to Celgene, Revlimid is the company’s lead product, and last year made worldwide sales of nearly $5 billion, accounting for more than 65% of the company’s total product sales.

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