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    Biogen wins patent ruling for its $4 billion MS treatment

    Tecfidera, a new pill for multiple sclerosis made by Biogen Idec, in an undated handout image. The Food and Drug Administration on March 27, 2013 approved Tecfidera, which is expected to become a blockbuster because of its combination of efficacy, relative safety and convenience. (Handout via The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED MS-DRUG-SOFAS. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED.
    Biogen Inc.’s Tecfidera pill, which treats multiple sclerosis, generates about $4 billion a year for the Cambridge biotech.

    Shares of Biogen Inc. were trading up 1.5 percent early Tuesday afternoon after the Cambridge biotech’s patent on its top-selling multiple sclerosis treatment was upheld by a legal ruling.

    The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejected a patent challenge by Texas hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who has been working for years to invalidate key intellectual property rights of Biogen and other biotechnology companies. A ruling in favor of the Bass-led Coalition for Affordable Drugs could have hurt Biogen’s revenue from the oral MS drug Tecfidera, which generated nearly $4 billion in sales last year.

    Biogen settled part of a separate ongoing patent dispute with Denmark’s Forward Pharma A/S in January, agreeing to pay $1.2 billion to license Forward Pharma’s intellectual property covering an active ingredient in Tecfidera. Investors are awaiting a pending decision in a separate part of that case, in which Forward Pharma is seeking annual royalties from Biogen on the sale of Tecfidera.

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    Robert Weisman can be reached at robert.weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.