Biosimilars referencing Amgen Inc.’s rheumatoid arthritis drug, Enbrel (etanercept), could remain sidelined in the U.S. for nearly another decade, following a Federal Circuit decision Wednesday affirming the validity of two patents protecting etanercept and its manufacturing methods.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear three cases that questioned the inter partes review (IPR) process for patent litigation, although the petition for cert for the Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc.; Arthrocare Corp.; and the United States of America case is still pending. Should the Supreme Court pass on Arthrex, the remaining affected IPR cases will have to be relitigated at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which may give those patent holders another chance to restore their patents.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled against Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and in favor of Mylan NV, of Hertfordshire, U.K., in a patent dispute regarding Biogen’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate).
The patent lawsuit between Merck & Co. and Microspherix LLC began when the latter sued Merck for infringement of patents for brachytherapy in Merck’s implantable contraceptive device, but Merck was unable to prevail in an inter partes review (IRP) or in an appeal of the IPR at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After wading through questions about purported prior art, Merck failed to persuade the two courts that Microspherix’s non-provisional filing had strayed too far from the written description of the related provisional, thus handing Microspherix a win against its much larger rival in the market for drug delivery with microspheres.
LONDON – The World Health Organization (WHO) is stepping up its effort to try and ensure equitable access to any approved COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, putting in place a system for sharing all intellectual property, information and clinical trials data needed to enable generic manufacturing.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has posted a notice of proposed rulemaking in response to a case decided by the Supreme Court in 2018, SAS v. Iancu, and the first item on the PTO agenda is to formally require that an inter partes review (IPR) consist of an exhaustive review of all the claims contested by the petitioner.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has opened a priority track for patents related to the COVID-19 pandemic, another signal of federal government intent on overcoming this new plague. However, Scott Marty, a partner with the Atlanta office of Ballard Spahr LLP, told BioWorld that while the program offers some distinct advantages for pandemic-driven patents, inventors should have their filings in good form before entry because any delays incurred by a less-than-airtight application could lead the PTO to boot the application out of this program.
Given all the public-private partnerships responding to the need for timely COVID-19 therapies, diagnostics and vaccines, the demands to forgo patents or exclusive licenses for coronavirus products and the clamor that industry shouldn’t “profit” from U.S. taxpayer-supported research are growing louder.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has posted new legislation that would bolster antitrust enforcement and deter anticompetitive behavior in the private sector, but the bill faces considerable opposition. Glenn Lammi of the Washington Legal Foundation told BioWorld that the legislation would blunt investment in the life sciences due to provisions that would make the possession of a patent an indication of legally actionable anticompetitive behavior.
The Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) is garnering support in its Ninth Circuit challenge to a new California law that seemingly thumbs its nose at a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on so-called pay-for-delay patent settlements.