The court ruled that the Merck patent was valid - but Apotex won’t infringe it with its product

US pharma giant Merck & Co has lost out in a patent case relating to Nasonex (mometasone furoate) nasal sprays. The US court ruled that, although the Merck patent in question was valid, it should not stop Canadian generics company Apotex marketing its mometasone furoate product. Merck had argued that the Apotex product would infringe its patent, which is set to expire in 2018.

Merck acquired the Nasonex brand in 2009 with its $41 billion merger with Schering-Plough. Since then, the brand has made substantial sales – $1.3 billion in 2011, up 5% from $1.2 billion in 2010.

Mometasone furoate is a glucocorticosteroid used as an anti-inflammatory agent in a wide range of products.