The U.S. FDA’s enforcement regarding products related to the COVID-19 pandemic has picked up steam recently, but the U.S. Federal trade commission (FTC) is also involved in this enforcement arena. Leonard Gordon, a partner at Venable LLP’s New York office, told BioWorld that while the FTC and FDA missions seem to overlap, the FTC primarily targets unsupportable advertising claims rather than product labeling, a particularly relevant area in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For those of us who believe in a free market, it is really important that the market works well,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said March 9 at a public workshop on ensuring a U.S. biologic marketplace that includes sustainable biosimilar and interchangeable competition.
Two players in the gene sequencing space, Illumina and Pacific Biosciences, have scotched their planned $1.2 billion merger roughly two weeks after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) posted a 5-0 vote to seek an injunction against the merger. While Illumina is consequently liable for nearly $100 million in termination fees, it could recoup those monies under some circumstances. The $1.2 billion merger between Illumina Inc., of San Diego, and Pacific Biosciences of California Inc., was formally announced by the two companies in November 2018, but the deal faced substantial regulatory difficulty from the outset.