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Healthcare

UPDATE 2-Medicines' Angiomax gets 1-yr interim patent extension

* PTO extends interim patent on Angiomax till Aug 13, 2011

* Shares down 3 pct (Adds details analysts comments, updates share movement)

BANGALORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Medicines Co MDCO.O said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a one-year interim patent extension for its lead drug Angiomax, after a federal judge ruled earlier in the week that the patent office has to consider the company's application for extension.

The PTO grants interim extensions when it requires time to process innovators’ applications for patent term extension under the Hatch Waxman Act.

If a final extension is granted, the patent on the anti-clotting drug would be extended for four-and-a-half years.

“The patent office is not in a position to simply extend the patent today for the full four-and-a-half years,” Wedbush Securities analyst Duane Nash said, pointing out that it takes six months to complete the paper work involved in an extension.

Medicines’ request to extend the patent on the drug was earlier rejected by the PTO citing a delay in filing the application. But on Tuesday, a U.S. District Court ruled that the PTO should consider the company’s patent application filed timely.

“I was surprised by the court’s ruling and it is somewhat controversial because it’s entering into a very delicate area where the courts have traditionally given the patent office a preference,” Wedbush’s Nash said.

He said there was a possibility that the patent office will appeal the court decision.

Meanwhile, Leerink Swann analyst Joseph Schwartz said the interim extension creates buying opportunity for investors as Angiomax will likely not face generic competition for all of 2011.

Under the interim extension, Angiomax -- which generated $382.9 million, or about 95 percent of the company’s U.S. sales, in 2009 -- will be covered by patent until Aug 13, 2011.

Shares of the company, which had gained about 30 percent since Tuesday, were down 3 percent at $11.96 Friday afternoon on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy, Vyas Mohan)

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