UPDATE 4-Repligen says Bristol to pay $5 mln to settle lawsuit

martes 8 de abril de 2008 18:11 CEST

(Adds Bristol comments in paragraphs five and six; updates share movement)

By Varsha Tickoo

BANGALORE, April 8 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N: Cotización) agreed to pay Repligen Corp (RGEN.O: Cotización) $5 million and royalties to settle a patent infringement lawsuit related to Bristol's rheumatoid arthritis drug, Orencia, boosting Repligen's shares as much as 24 percent.

Repligen expects a net profit in 2009, and $7 million to $8 million in royalties from Bristol, the biotechnology company said in a conference call. Bristol's stock fell as much as 1 percent to $21.78 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal marks another success in a legal battle for Repligen, which last year got $65 million from ImClone Systems Inc IMCL.O to settle a patent infringement lawsuit related to ImClone cancer drug Erbitux. Repligen's market value has jumped by more than a third since news of the ImClone deal.

Repligen said it owns exclusive rights to a U.S. patent, effective till 2021, which covers a method of treating rheumatoid arthritis with CTLA4-Ig, a biologic drug Bristol sells as Orencia that had 2007 sales of $231 million.

Bristol spokeswoman Laura Hortas said the company settled to avoid risk associated with litigation.

"I would just emphasize that the royalty payments do end in 2013," she said.

Repligen has an "enabling patent" that covers a process to make Orencia, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Elemer Piros said. Bristol could make Orencia in some other way, but the process licensed to Repligen is very efficient, Piros, the only analyst covering Repligen, said.   Continuación...