August 17, 2016 / 8:20 PM / a year ago

J&J says court finds Remicade patent invalid

The logo of healthcare company Johnson & Johnson is seen in front of an office building in Zug, Switzerland July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said a U.S. court had held its patent for autoimmune drug Remicade invalid, ruling in favor of two companies seeking to bring a cheaper version of the blockbuster drug to market.

Remicade, J&J’s biggest product, had $6.6 billion in sales last year. The drug’s patent will lapse in September 2018.

In March 2015, J&J filed a lawsuit against Celltrion Inc and Pfizer Inc-owned Hospira seeking a declaratory judgment that their biosimilar product infringes several of its patents.

Celltrion and Hospira’s biosimilar, Inflectra, received U.S. regulatory approval in April.

Biosimilars are lower-cost copies of complex biotech drugs.

J&J, which is also defending other Remicade patents, said it plans to appeal the latest court decision.

“Assuming biosimilar competition, we think Remicade revenues will decline by just over $1 billion in 2017, costing J&J close to $0.20 in EPS,” J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a client note.

Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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