Wednesday July 24, 1:49 AM EDT
FRANKFURT, July 24 (Reuters) - German drugs group Schering AG (SCHG) said on Wednesday it had settled a dispute with Switzerland's Serono SA (SEOZ) over a group of patents concerning the two firms' top-selling multiple-sclerosis drugs.
The settlement covered patents owned by Schering on the production, use and sale in the United States of human beta interferon in Chinese hamster ovary cells, used in the manufacture of Serono's MS drug Rebif, Schering said in a statement.
Under the terms of the settlement, Serono will receive a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive licence to import, produce and sell Rebif in the United States, Schering said, adding that the royalty structure was dependent on court proceedings between Schering and Biogen Inc. (BGEN) on the same group of patents.
In March, Serono began selling Rebif in the United States, where Schering's
Betaferon -- also known as Betaseron -- and Biogen's Avonex are widely
used to combat multiple sclerosis.
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