• U.S. decision is ‘long-awaited sentiment boost,’ Citi says
  • Judge rules in favor of UCB over patent for drug Vimpat

UCB SA surged the most in more than seven years in Brussels trading after the Belgian drugmaker won a U.S. court ruling in a bid to block generic competition to one of its best-selling medicines.

A federal court judge in Wilmington, Delaware, ruled in UCB’s favor after issuing a sealed opinion on a patent for the epilepsy drug Vimpat. Generic-drug makers had challenged the validity of the patent, which is due to expire in 2022. Vimpat brought in 679 million euros ($758 million) in sales last year, about 18 percent of the company’s revenue.

The shares advanced as much as 9.6 percent to 75.28 euros, the most since May 2009. Before today, the stock had fallen about 17 percent this year.

The ruling in favor of the Brussels-based company is a “long-awaited sentiment boost,” according to a Citigroup Inc. analysts’ note on Monday. While the risk of invalidation in the U.S. remains, “we expect market confidence to improve,” the analysts wrote.

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