Regeneron CEO on Amgen patent dispute: 'No wonder our industry isn't beloved'

Len Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, criticized Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen for putting its own financial success ahead of patients, reports Reuters.

Last week, a judge banned Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Paris-based Sanofi from selling their cholesterol drug Praluent, finding it infringed on Amgen's patents for Amgen's cholesterol drug Repatha, according to the report.

The judge postponed the ban for 45 days to allow Regeneron and Sanofi to appeal the case.

According to Mr. Schleifer, Amgen refused a request to delay the ban of Praulent sales until after the appeal is heard, even though the judge said removing the drug from the market was against public interest.

"If they really cared about patients they wouldn't rip this drug from patients," Mr. Schleifer said at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Monday. "To say that you cannot wait, is that putting patients first? It's no small wonder that our industry isn't beloved. If this industry is to survive, we have got to do the right thing by patients ... and still adequately reward our investors."

Amgen told Reuters in an email that Sanofi and Regeneron had no right to sell Praluent and were afforded a full and fair opportunity to challenge the validity of its patents at trial.

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