Novartis Confirms Raid by Swiss Competition Authorities in Patent Use Probe

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By Scott Kanowsky -- Novartis AG (SIX:NOVN) has confirmed that the Swiss competition commission (COMCO) has visited the Basel headquarters of the drugmaker in connection to an investigation over the potentially unlawful use of a dermatology patent.

COMCO officials carried out the raid on September 13, the watchdog said in a statement that did not name Novartis specifically. Regulators are looking into allegations that the firm tried to protect a treatment for skin diseases against competitors by using one of its patents to start legal proceedings.

In a separate statement, the company said the probe does not imply wrongdoing or have any financial impact on its operations. Novartis added that it is cooperating with the authorities and is confident that it will be able to "clarify the legitimacy of its position."

Shares in Novartis fell slightly in early European trading on Thursday.

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