Armed with data but no crystal ball, the U.S. FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will be asked June 28 to predict the next-generation vaccines that will be needed to best respond to the COVID-19 futurescape. While Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Novavax Inc. will briefly present clinical data for their variant vaccines at the VRBPAC meeting, the discussion will be about the future of all COVID-19 vaccines being developed or authorized for the U.S. market.
It’s been a decade since the America Invents Act (AIA) transformed the U.S. patent landscape from a first-to-invent to a first-inventor-to-file system and added new contours with the creation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to hear post-grant patent challenges outside of court. While the AIA’s inter partes review process and other post-grant procedures have helped weed out weak patents, they’ve also increased the uncertainty and unpredictability of many patents. Now, 10 years on, Congress is assessing how the PTAB has developed in real life and considering what course corrections may be needed.
Novartis AG is not going quietly into the night after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed itself, invalidating a method patent covering a dosing regimen for the company’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug, Gilenya (fingolimod). After the split opinion came down June 21 from the three-judge panel, Novartis said it planned to file a petition seeking further review of the decision by the full court.
While the World Trade Organization (WTO) is taking a victory lap for getting a five-year intellectual property (IP) waiver across the finish line for COVID-19 vaccines, the accomplishment is being panned by spectators on both sides of the track.
Instead of “Mother, may I” for COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months through 5 years of age, the U.S. CDC is saying the correct response is “I should.” That was the recommendation June 18 from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky wasted no time in endorsing the recommendation, which came just a day after the FDA authorized the vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.-Biontech SE for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
What was billed as a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing June 16 to get an update from top government health officials on the nation’s response to COVID-19 was, in reality, a concerted effort to get Republicans in the U.S. Senate to open the checkbook so the Biden administration could fill in the amount for more COVID-19 spending, Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.) charged as he concluded the hearing.
In keeping with the 21st Century Cures Act, the U.S. FDA issued a draft guidance describing a standards recognition program for regenerative medicine therapies at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research that’s intended to facilitate the development of the therapies and reduce the regulatory burden.
After a two-day session of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee, the U.S. is within days of a long-awaited milestone of having not just one but at least two vaccines available for nearly every American. The VRBPAC voted unanimously, 21-0, June 15 to support amending the emergency use authorizations for both the Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.-Biontech SE COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to allow their use in children 6 months and older.
A lot of eyes are on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference taking place in Geneva June 12-15, as member countries try to reach a consensus on a proposal that would allow certain members to waive intellectual property (IP) rights on COVID-19 vaccines for at least three to five years.