(Adds analyst comment, background; updates share movement)
Aug 15 Gilead Sciences Inc said an
arbitration panel rejected Roche Holding AG's patent
infringement claims related to Gilead's hepatitis C drug,
Gilead's shares rose as much as 3 percent in early trading.
"While this outcome was widely expected, it is good
nonetheless as it removes a 'disaster scenario'," Cowen & Co
analyst Phil Nadeau said, raising his price target to $105 from
Roche initiated arbitration proceedings against Gilead in
2013, asserting exclusive rights over sofosbuvir by virtue of
its 2004 collaboration agreement with Pharmasset Inc. Gilead
bought Pharmasset in 2012.
Gilead started selling sofosbuvir under the brand name
Sovaldi in December.
The arbitration panel on Thursday determined that Roche
failed to establish any of its claims and is not entitled to any
damages or other relief, Gilead said in a regulatory filing on
Sovaldi, which costs $84,000 for 12 weeks of treatment, had
sales of $3.5 billion in the second quarter ended June.
The cost of Sovaldi, which cures well in excess of 90
percent of patients in as little as 8 weeks of treatment, has
drawn sharp criticism from insurers and government officials.
Gilead's shares were up 1 pct at $97.70 in late morning
trading on the Nasdaq. Up to Thursday's close, the stock had
risen 28 percent this year.
(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)