Patent News | "Amarin gets key patent; stock takes a ride"

By :  Lee Howard
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Category  : Patent News

Groton - The stock price of biotech Amarin Corp. plc resumed its flight Wednesday before coming down to Earth late in the session, one day after the company announced a key patent for its heart drug had won U.S. approval.

Amarin's shares ended the day virtually unchanged at $11.92 by the close of trading on the Nasdaq exchange. On Tuesday, the price rose about 20 percent immediately after the expected patent decision, and the stock has nearly doubled from where it stood just a few weeks ago, though it's still significantly off its high of nearly $20.

Amarin, an Irish company that has its research-and-development headquarters on Bridge Street, said Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an approval notice for its so-called "598 patent" on the firm's lead medicine, the fish-oil-based AMR101. The drug has been shown in studies to reduce triglycerides, or fat in the blood.

"The issuance of a notice of allowance is a significant additional step forward in the execution of our plan to protect the commercial potential of AMR101," said Joseph Zakrzewski, chairman and chief executive of the company, which operates locally as Amarin Pharma Inc.

Zakrzewski added that this is the first of at least 16 patents being sought by Amarin, some of which would protect the commercialization of ARM101 to 2030. Amarin's stock price plunged last year as a series of patent questions dogged the company.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a ruling by July 26 on Amarin's request to receive regulatory approval to begin marketing AMR101 to patients with very high triglycerides.

The issuance of a patent makes Amarin a more likely takeover target, according to analysts.

"Tuesday's news adds a bit of newfound certainty to the situation and sets the company up for the next stage of development - which could be the landing of a major partner," said one analysis on the website Market Playground.

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