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Gilead, Merck Spar Over Hepatitis C $1,000-Pill Royalties

  • Merck demands $3 billion in royalties to license two patents
  • Jury in California must decide whether Merck patents are valid
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Gilead Sciences Inc., which pioneered a cure for hepatitis C, is trying to fend off a demand by Merck & Co. for more than $3 billion in a patent dispute over the liver disease treatment.

A compound in Gilead’s blockbuster drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni was found by a judge last month to have infringed Merck’s patents. Now, a jury must decide whether those patents are still valid, and if so, how much Gilead owes Merck in royalties.