Articles Posted in Drugs & Biotech

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The Jazz patents relate to a drug distribution system for tracking prescriptions of a “sensitive drug.” “A sensitive drug is one which can be abused, or has addiction properties or other properties that render the drug sensitive.” One such sensitive drug is Xyrem®. Jazz exclusively markets Xyrem®, which the FDA has approved to treat symptoms associated with narcolepsy. The active ingredient in Xyrem®, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), may also be illicitly used as a “date-rape drug.” Under the Controlled Substances Act any approved drug product containing GHB is classified as a Schedule III depressant, so the FDA approved Xyrem® under “restricted distribution regulations contained in [21 C.F.R. 314.500] (Subpart H) to assure safe use of the product.” On inter partes review, the Patent Board found certain claims invalid as obvious. The Federal Circuit affirmed, upholding a conclusion that implementing prior art, consisting of background materials and the meeting minutes, transcript, and slides on the FDA website, on multiple computers “would have been a predictable use of a known distributed data system according to its established function.” View "Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC" on Justia Law

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Endo holds the approved New Drug Application for Aveed®, a testosterone undecanoate intramuscular injection. Bayer owns the 640 and 395 patents listed in the Orange Book for Aveed®. Custopharm’s predecessor submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to the FDA for approval to produce and market a generic version of Aveed® and made a Paragraph IV certification and gave notice of the certification to Endo and Bayer in October 2014. Endo and Bayer brought an action alleging infringement of the 640 and 395 patents. Custopharm stipulated to infringement; Endo and Bayer limited their asserted claims to claim 2 of the 640 patent and claim 18 of the 395 patent. After a bench trial on invalidity, the district court concluded that Custopharm had not proven that the claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. 103. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Custopharm failed to meet its burden of showing that a skilled artisan would combine a lowered dose with the injection schedule in the manner claimed. View "Endo Pharmaceuticals Solutions, Inc. v. Custopharm Inc." on Justia Law

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Triptans are selective serotonin receptor agonists, developed in the 1980s. When Zolmitriptan became available in the U.S. in oral tablet form in 1999 under the name Zomig® it was among several triptans on the market or under development. AstraZeneca owns the 237 and 767 patents, which relate to formulations of zolmitriptan for intranasal administration, and the New Drug Application for Zomig® (zolmitriptan) Nasal Spray, approved by the FDA for treatment of migraines. The patents are listed in connection with Zomig® Nasal Spray in the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book). In 2012, AstraZeneca and Impax entered into an agreement, granting Impax an exclusive license to AstraZeneca’s patents covering the Zomig® products, for the payment of $130 million and additional payments at varying royalty rates. In 2014, Lannett notified AstraZeneca that it had filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application, seeking approval for a generic version of Zomig® Nasal Spray, with a Paragraph IV certification (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV)), alleging noninfringement or invalidity of the 237 and 767 patents. In the subsequent infringement suit, 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(2)(A), the district court issued its claim construction opinion, the parties stipulated to infringement, and the court held that Lannett failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the asserted claims were invalid or would have been obvious over prior art. The Federal Circuit affirmed, upholding the entry of an injunction. View "Impax Laboratories Inc. v. Lannett Holdings Inc." on Justia Law

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The 551 patent discloses and claims lacosamide, the active ingredient in Vimpat®, a drug that treats epilepsy and other central nervous system disorders. UCB holds New Drug Applications that cover the FDA approval of Vimpat®. The 551 patent is listed in the FDA’s Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book). Generic drug manufacturers filed Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs), seeking approval for generic versions of Vimpat®. Pursuant to the governing Hatch-Waxman Act provisions, they certified in their ANDAs that the 551 patent is invalid, unenforceable, or that their proposed generic lacosamide products will not infringe the patent. UCB sued and the generic manufacturers stipulated to infringement of claims 9, 10, and 13 but maintained that these claims are invalid for obviousness-type double patenting, 35 U.S.C. 101, obviousness, and anticipation. The district court concluded that the asserted claims are not invalid. The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court applied the correct legal standards and that there was no clear error in its underlying fact findings. The district court did not err by focusing its double patenting analysis on the claims’ differences, as well as the claims as a whole. View "UCB, Inc. v. Accord Healthcare, Inc." on Justia Law

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Mallinckrodt’s 112 patent is directed to methods of distributing nitric oxide gas cylinders for pharmaceutical applications. Inhaled nitric oxide is approved by the FDA for treating neonates with hypoxic respiratory failure, a condition where oxygen levels in the blood are too low. Nitric oxide functions to dilate blood vessels in the lungs and can thereby improve blood oxygenation. Mallinckrodt exclusively supplies inhaled nitric oxide in the United States for pharmaceutical use under the brand name INOmax®. On inter partes review, the Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board found claim 9 not unpatentable as obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103 but found claims1-8 and 10-11 unpatentable as obvious. The Federal Circuit reversed as to claim 9 but otherwise affirmed. The Board did not err in applying the printed matter doctrine to claims 1–8 and 10, but its findings regarding the differences between the prior art and claim 9 and its findings on secondary considerations depended on an incorrect interpretation of that claim, and are not supported by substantial evidence. The Board’s uncontested findings regarding prior art render claim 9 obvious under the proper reading of the claim. View "Praxair Distribution Inc. v. Mallinckrodt Hospital Products IP, Ltd." on Justia Law

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Anacor’s patent, entitled “Boron-containing Small Molecules,” is directed to the use of 1,3-dihydro-5- fluoro-1-hydroxy-2, 1-benzoxaborole, also known as tavaborole, to topically treat fungal infections that develop under fingernails and toenails. The patent teaches that tavaborole can be used to treat onychomycosis, a fungal infection that is responsible for approximately half of all nail disorders in humans. On inter partes review, the Patent Board found all of the claims of the patent unpatentable for obviousness. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Anacor was not denied its procedural rights with respect to the theory of obviousness the Board adopted or any evidence it relied on. The Board understood that the petitioner’s theory was “not based on structural similarities alone,” but was “based on the combination of structural similarity and functional similarity” and agreed with the petitioner that “a person of ordinary skill in the art would have expected that tavaborole, which shares functional activity with the compounds of Brehove, would have shared other activities as well, such as the inhibition of additional fungi responsible for onychomycosis.” View "Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu" on Justia Law

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Defendants produce or sell patented drug products containing the antiviral agent tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), which is used in the treatment of AIDS. Healthcare provides medical care to persons afflicted with AIDS, including providing antiviral drugs, including the TAF products that Healthcare buys from Defendants. Healthcare sought declarations of invalidity for patents purportedly covering TAF and various combination products so that it could partner with generic makers and purchase generic TAF on the expiration of the five-year New Chemical Entity exclusivity s(21 U.S.C. 355(j)(5)(F)(ii)). Healthcare filed suit two months after the FDA approved Genvoya®—the first TAF-containing product to receive FDA approval; other TAF products were still undergoing clinical trials. No unlicensed source was offering a TAF product or preparing to do so. Healthcare told the court that “none of the generic makers wanted to enter the market because there was the fear of liability.” The court ruled that Healthcare’s actions in encouraging others to produce generic TAF products and interest in purchasing such products did not create an actual controversy under the Declaratory Judgment Act. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The declaratory requirement of immediacy and reality is not met by litigation delay. Healthcare has not otherwise shown that there is a controversy of sufficient immediacy and reality to create declaratory judgment jurisdiction. Liability for inducing infringement requires that there be direct infringement. An interest in buying infringing product is not an adverse legal interest for declaratory jurisdiction. View "AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc." on Justia Law

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Defendants produce or sell patented drug products containing the antiviral agent tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), which is used in the treatment of AIDS. Healthcare provides medical care to persons afflicted with AIDS, including providing antiviral drugs, including the TAF products that Healthcare buys from Defendants. Healthcare sought declarations of invalidity for patents purportedly covering TAF and various combination products so that it could partner with generic makers and purchase generic TAF on the expiration of the five-year New Chemical Entity exclusivity s(21 U.S.C. 355(j)(5)(F)(ii)). Healthcare filed suit two months after the FDA approved Genvoya®—the first TAF-containing product to receive FDA approval; other TAF products were still undergoing clinical trials. No unlicensed source was offering a TAF product or preparing to do so. Healthcare told the court that “none of the generic makers wanted to enter the market because there was the fear of liability.” The court ruled that Healthcare’s actions in encouraging others to produce generic TAF products and interest in purchasing such products did not create an actual controversy under the Declaratory Judgment Act. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The declaratory requirement of immediacy and reality is not met by litigation delay. Healthcare has not otherwise shown that there is a controversy of sufficient immediacy and reality to create declaratory judgment jurisdiction. Liability for inducing infringement requires that there be direct infringement. An interest in buying infringing product is not an adverse legal interest for declaratory jurisdiction. View "AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc." on Justia Law

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By 2000, Altaire was manufacturing R-phenylephrine hydrochloride products, used to dilate patients’ pupils. In 2011, Altaire and Paragon agreed to pursue FDA approval. Paragon submitted a new drug application (NDA). The FDA recommended that Paragon consider adding a chiral purity test. Altaire measured the optical rotation of Lots 11578 and 11582, 2.5% and 10% phenylephrine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution products. Paragon submitted a supplementary NDA, which was FDA-approved. Altaire also conducted high-performance liquid chromatography testing on the two lots (TMQC-247). Paragon proposed an amendment to the Agreement to address filing a patent application. Altaire responded that: “the formulation, processes[,] and controls ... were developed solely by [Altaire’s Chief Executive] … and are . . . the proprietary and confidential information of Altaire”; the Agreement “does not contemplate ... a patent application.” Paragon did not respond but filed a patent application, entitled “Methods and Compositions of Stable Phenylephrine Formulations.” While the application was being prosecuted, Paragon requested “all the work [Altaire] ha[s] on chiral purity” for its annual FDA report. Altaire provided a report. Altaire later sued, alleging that Paragon breached a nondisclosure agreement; Paragon counterclaimed. Altaire sought a declaratory judgment of invalidity of the patent and sought post-grant review, arguing that the Asserted Claims would have been obvious over Lots #11578 and #11581. The Patent Board rejected the argument. The Federal Circuit reversed. The Board erred in refusing to consider a declaration by Altaire’s Chief Executive concerning the TMQC-247 and optical rotation test data. View "Altaire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Paragon Bioteck, Inc." on Justia Law

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Merck's patents claim classes of compounds, identified by structural formulas, and the administration of therapeutically effective amounts of such compounds for treating Hepatitis C. Gilead developed its own Hepatitis C treatments, marketed as Solvadi® and Harvoni®, based on the compound sofosbuvir. Gilead sought a declaratory judgment that Merck’s patents were invalid and that Gilead was not infringing. Merck counterclaimed for infringement. Gilead stipulated to infringement based on the court’s claim construction, which was not appealed. A jury trial was held on Gilead’s challenges to the patents as invalid for lack of both an adequate written description and enablement of the asserted claims, and Gilead’s defense that Merck did not actually invent the subject matter but derived it from another inventor, employed by Gilead’s predecessor. The jury ruled for Merck but the district court ruled for Gilead, finding pre-litigation business misconduct and litigation misconduct attributable to Merck, and barred Merck from asserting the patents against Gilead. The court awarded attorney’s fees, relying on the finding of unclean hands. The Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment based on unclean hands. The district court found, with adequate evidentiary support, two related forms of pre-litigation business misconduct attributable to Merck. The court noted clear violations of a “firewall” understanding between Gilead’s predecessor and Merck, with a direct connection to the ultimate patent litigation. View "Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Merck & Co., Inc." on Justia Law