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Bristol-Myers wins $752 million in U.S. patent case against Gilead

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Logo of global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is pictured on the blouse of an employee in Le Passage
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By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Friday said it won a $752 million jury verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc in a U.S. patent dispute relating to technology for treating cancer.

A jury in Los Angeles awarded the damages after finding that Yescarta, a treatment sold by Gilead's Kite Pharma unit, infringed on a patent exclusively licensed by Bristol-Myers' Juno Therapeutics division.

The patent at issue in the lawsuit, which Juno licenses from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, relates to CAR T-cell immunotherapy for cancer.

CAR-T therapy involves a process of removing T cells from a patient's immune system, engineering them to better identify and attack cancer cells and infusing them back into the patient.

Bristol-Myers said in a statement that it was pleased with the verdict.

Gilead disagreed with the decision.

"We remain steadfast in our opinion that Sloan Kettering's patent is not infringed and is invalid," Gilead said in a statement. "Given that Kite independently developed Yescarta and assumed all of the risk in its discovery and development, we do not believe Sloan Kettering and Juno are entitled to any level of damages."

Gilead said it expected to seek to undo the verdict through post-trial motions and an appeal.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Bill Berkrot)

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