In a recent development, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected a challenge presented by Mylan Pharmaceuticals against two patents held by Novo Nordisk. These patents cover the active ingredient found in Novo Nordisk's highly successful weight-loss and obesity drugs, Wegovy and Ozempic.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals had contested the validity of these patents, arguing that the development of the semaglutide compound was obvious given its basis on the existing diabetes treatment, liraglutide. Mylan claimed that such a compound should not be eligible for patent protection.
However, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board dismissed this claim, stating that Mylan failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the contention that modifying liraglutide to arrive at semaglutide would have been an obvious and successful endeavor.
In addition to challenging the two aforementioned patents, Viatris-owned Mylan has also disputed a third patent related to the method of administering these drugs. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has yet to make a decision on this matter.
The tremendous success of Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drugs, Wegovy and Ozempic, has propelled the Danish company's stock price, making it the most valuable company in Europe. Both drugs share the same active ingredient, semaglutide. While Ozempic was initially developed as a treatment for diabetes, it has also been utilized for weight-loss purposes.
Novo Nordisk has taken legal action against several companies, including Viatris, that aim to manufacture generic versions of its drugs. It has filed multiple U.S. patent infringement lawsuits in its ongoing efforts to protect its intellectual property.
Neither Novo Nordisk nor Viatris provided an immediate comment on this matter.
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