Patent discussion knocks down UCB shares

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Investors aren’t pleased with the news that UCB’s patent on its epilepsy medicine Vimpat is under assault again. The company’s shares dropped 6% when it was revealed that the US generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer Argentum challenges the patent on one of UCB’s most lucrative medicines. Vimpat is UCB’s second medicine for the treatment of epilepsy and represents a large portion of the company’s income and growth potential. Because it isn’t the first time Vimpat’s patent is being challenged, Argentum’s motion raises questions with the public on whether or not some of the claims may hold true. If the patent would prove to be invalid, it would be a real threat to UCB’s annual revenue, since about 75% of Vimpat’s income is generated in the US. Last year, Vimpat generated an income of €679 million.

The US patent and trademark office will now look into the challenge and will probably decide on the matter in a year’s time.