Celgene Drops, Off Worst Levels, As Concern for U.K. Review, Patent Expiration Weigh

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Celgene Corp. (CELG) has been a volatile stock Friday, although it’s well off early lows late in Friday’s regular session, moving amid concerns that British regulators don’t want to approve certain uses of its Revlimid medication. That added to investor anxiety about the prospect of an early patent expiration on that drug.

Celgene is down about 4% at $149.84, but moved as low as $147.65 and is among the biggest movers in the S&P 500.

Trade publications reported that Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, known as NICE, issued a draft Friday rejecting Revlimid, used for blood disease and bone marrow treatment, for use in certain situations. The agency doesn’t want to grant permission to use the drug if a patient in relapse who has been treated with Revlimid in conjunction with another medication is unable to receive thalidomide and is not a candidate for a bone marrow transplant.

Further, there is concern over an early date granted for a patent hearing on Revlimid in the U.S. A federal judge is expected to examine Revlimid’s patent in late April, several months ahead of what was expected, MarketWatch reported.

Revlimid has been approved for use in patients who have received two or more prior therapies and continues to have that approval.

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