Press Release

Printer Friendly Version View printer-friendly version
Download PDF Download PDF
<< Back
Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Merck Receive Positive Verdict on Gilead HCV Drug Patent Case

CARLSBAD, Calif., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) announced today that a jury in the United States District Court, Northern District of California found in favor of Merck and Ionis in a patent dispute related to Gilead's sofosbuvir-based medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV), including Sovaldi and Harvoni.  The jury found in favor of Merck and Ionis upholding all claims from the two patents in the case, including two methods and eight composition of matter claims.  Ionis and Merck are co-inventors on the patents that serve as the basis for the dispute.  In the next phase of the trial, the jury in the case will consider the amount of damages to be paid to Merck by Gilead as compensation for its past and future infringement.  Ionis will receive 20% of the damages awarded to Merck that exceed the costs Merck incurred to conduct the litigation and Ionis will also receive 20% of all future payments.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals

"Ionis is an expert in developing novel nucleic acids for use as therapeutic agents.  We used our expertise in a 1998 collaboration with Merck to discover and develop modified nucleosides that benefit patients with HCV.  The patents derived from our work with Merck are another example of the strong intellectual property portfolio we have created around our pioneering work in antisense drug technology," said Stanley T. Crooke, chairman and chief executive officer at Ionis.  "The verdict today confirms the validity and value of the intellectual property covering the nucleoside analogs and methods we and Merck invented to treat HCV."

Ionis is the leading company in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development focused on developing drugs for patients who have the highest unmet medical needs, such as those patients with severe and rare diseases.  Using its proprietary antisense technology, Ionis has created a large pipeline of first-in-class and/or best-in-class drugs, with over a dozen drugs in mid- to late-stage development.  Drugs currently in Phase 3 development include volanesorsen, a drug Ionis is developing and plans to commercialize through its wholly owned subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics, to treat patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome and familial partial lipodystrophy; IONIS-TTRRx, a drug Ionis is developing with GSK to treat patients with all forms of TTR amyloidosis; and nusinersen, a drug Ionis is developing with Biogen to treat infants and children with spinal muscular atrophy.  Ionis' patents provide strong and extensive protection for its drugs and technology.  Additional information about Ionis is available at

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding Ionis Pharmaceuticals' business and the therapeutic and commercial potential of Ionis' technologies and products in development, including nusinersen, IONIS-TTRRx, volanesorsen, the expected benefits from its hepatitis C virus patents and its relationship with Merck.  Any statement describing Ionis' goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement.  Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs.  Ionis' forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Although Ionis' forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Ionis.  As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.  These and other risks concerning Ionis' programs are described in additional detail in Ionis' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, which is on file with the SEC.  Copies of this and other documents are available from the Company.

In December, 2015, the Company changed its name from Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Ionis," "Company," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Logo -


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

D. Wade Walke, Ph.D., Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, 760-603-2741, or Amy Williford, Ph.D., Associate Director, Corporate Communications,760-603-2772