The commercial success of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has other companies in the space “looking in the attic, so to speak,” to see if they have any patents they can assert against components of the vaccines so they can get a percentage of the sales, Aziz Burgy, a patent attorney, told BioWorld. Given the global spread of the pandemic and how quickly it came on, the vaccines have generated billions of dollars in sales in a short period of time, and other companies want a share, he said. He compared today’s patent infringement cases against the vaccine producers to the litigation seen in the early days of the smartphone revolution when other high-tech companies scrambled for a piece of Apple’s and Samsung’s profits.
In an effort to increase global access to COVID-19 technologies, the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool and the Medicines Patent Pool finalized a licensing agreement May 12 with the U.S. NIH for research tools, early stage vaccines and diagnostics.
With its focus on transformative high-risk, high-reward research to drive biomedical breakthroughs, the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) may be a good concept, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of increased investment in basic research at the NIH, according to the bipartisan leadership of U.S. House appropriators.
News of government prosecutors actively going after individuals for defrauding the U.S. health care system has become commonplace, but the government’s focus on criminally prosecuting fraud against Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs could make biopharma companies’ patient assistance programs a more attractive target.
A congressional investigation into COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing failures at Emergent Biosolutions Inc. unveiled more troubling issues at the company’s Bayview facility in Baltimore, which had been awarded a lucrative U.S. government contract to produce vaccines for Johnson & Johnson.
The U.S. FDA’s efficacy bar for COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest children may be lower than the 50% required for the adult vaccines, according to Peter Marks, director of the agency’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.<
Even though at least two different U.S. district courts have ruled that the 340B enforcement letters the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration has sent to biopharma companies violate the Administrative Procedures Act, the agency continues to send the letters, along with threats of civil money penalties, to companies that place restrictions on the 340B discounts to contract pharmacies.
Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) were in the spotlight at a May 5 U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on fairness and transparency in the prescription drug market, but lawmakers indicated they need to turn up the klieg lights of the FTC to penetrate the black box of PBM operations.
Before filing financial statements with the U.S. SEC, public companies will need to think about how their business has been impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, perhaps, update filings they’ve already submitted.