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Posts Tagged: "drugs"

Merck and Pfizer Downgrades on Patent Cliff Concerns Signal Importance of Patents to Pharma

Last month, business news outlets were reporting that stock prices for pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Merck took a tumble after financial analysts downgraded the performance of both firms over concerns about impending patent cliffs or exclusivity issues – although more recent reports paint a mostly promising picture for the companies, thanks to upcoming acquisitions. A pharmaceutical analyst for UBS downgraded Pfizer from buy to neutral, citing the loss of patent protection in the 2025 to 2029 timeframe for several drugs which contributed 30 percent of Pfizer’s total revenue in 2015. For Merck, although patent expiry wasn’t cited in a note from a pharmaceutical analyst from BMO, that analyst dropped Merck’s rating from outperform to market perform based on the expectation that the company’s blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda would face increased competition in the immuno-oncology field during 2019. As of January 30, stock prices for both firms were down by at least a dollar per share from their closing price on January 23. The downgrades for both firms are further proof of the importance of maintaining exclusivity through patent protection to pharmaceutical firms.

Reflections on Drug Patents and the High Cost of Healthcare

The Hatch-Waxman Act and the Biologic Price Competition and Innovation Act are both forged from a noble ideal, grounded in a commitment to a robust and earnest patent system that rewards real innovation… By the power vested in them by specially-reserved patent laws, drug patents are a patent species of their own universe. They can have the economic power of nuclear warheads, in an industry built on an exclusivity model worth hundreds of billions of dollars, per year. We simply cannot afford to fill the silos of those warheads with patent waste that does not innovate or improve upon anything, but which can wreak economic and social havoc, while feeding the general public’s perception that all patents stink.

Why should we encourage generics to challenge pharma patents?

What was the federal government thinking when Hatch-Waxman originally passed. Why would Congress incentivize generic manufacturers to challenge the patents of pharmaceutical companies? It is the same insidious thought process underlying Hatch-Waxman seen underlying the justification for post grant challenges of all patents at the USPTO. How absurd is it that those who question the need for incentive to innovate are so eager to provide incentive to challenge patents?

Drug Patents and the High Cost of Healthcare: Case of Over-Advocacy for Under-Patentability

The price-tag for non-innovative drug patents, such as these second-wave Restasis patents, is substantial. Indeed, one cannot help but question Allergan’s true motivations for attempting to evade PTAB scrutiny of these patents by reliance on Tribal Immunity based on its deal with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. The PTAB, unlike the examiner corps, does have the ability to consider rebuttal expert testimony, and is thus not-so handicapped in its capacity to vet drug patents of questionable validity, with aplomb.

To Make Healthcare More Affordable, Fight Drug Patent Abuse with a Fury

If a drug company plants a more than 100-patent thicket to protect market exclusivity, then it had better be able to justify why it should deserve the cumulative protection of patent term. Yes, the patent on the original formulation will fall into the public domain and may be capable of being made by generics long before the last of the patents expire, but often-times those follow on “innovations” are the kind of trivial advances that ordinarily shouldn’t support a fresh patent.

A Fleeting Glimpse of Reason in the Drug Development Debate

Despite the difficulties, the private sector is far and away the best bet for developing the desperately needed medicines of the future. Government is a critical partner and can fund research at our universities and federal laboratories that can’t be done anywhere else. It can also remove some, but not all of the risk inherent in developing treatments for diseases lacking sufficient market size and stability to attract traditional investment. But it still requires a company willing to assume the burden of transforming a discovery into a product that can alleviate suffering.

Embrace IP That Works: Importance of Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) in the European Union

The European Union suffers from an investment deficit relative to other industrialized nations. A recent report by the European Commission emphasizes this impact, “the EU needs to put in place better incentives and conditions for businesses to innovate” in important areas such as market regulations, intellectual property rights protection, barriers to entrepreneurship, and ease of doing business. Given this, encouraging investment is essential to future growth. Weakening the IP incentives embedded in SPCs would be a step in the wrong direction.

Celgene’s New Revlimid® Lawsuits Shows Shifting Tactics From Earlier Natco Case

Celgene faces a new gang of generics moving in on its blockbuster Revlimid®.  Over the past year, a number of generics have filed ANDAs against Revlimid®, including Dr. Reddy’s, Zydus, Cipla, and Lotus Pharmaceutical.  Those ANDAs have triggered corresponding Hatch-Waxman lawsuits from Celgene.  Among the asserted patents, most of them expire by 2022, with the exception of two polymorph patents that could extend Revlimid® monopoly until 2027.  The lawsuits are in their early stages, but an upcoming Markman hearing in the case against Dr. Reddy’s is shaping up to be critical to whether Celgene can protect is Revlimid® monopoly past 2022.

Did the Federal Circuit doom Amgen’s Enbrel® monopoly?

In the case, Amgen v. Sanofi, the Court vacated an injunction Amgen obtained against a competing drug to its new PCSK9-inhibitor.  The Court’s decision turned on a finding that the jury was improperly instructed on the criteria for invalidating a patent directed to an antibody for lack of written description.  Thus, will the precedent recently established in Amgen’s PCSK9 case doom the validity of its patents covering Enbrel®?  There are likely two ways that the decision in Amgen v. Sanofi made a validity challenge to Enbrel®’s patents easier.

IP Strategy is a Tricky Balancing Act for Pharmaceuticals

The 20 years of protection afforded by a patent is intended to promote innovation by allowing inventors a chance to recoup development costs and derive a profit from their efforts. However, in the pharmaceutical industry, the practical duration of protection is often substantially shorter since obtaining a patent is just one piece—albeit a critical one–of bringing a drug to market.

Report shows drug patents fare better in IPR proceedings at PTAB

While the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has not been friendly to patent owners, to put it mildly, the PTAB has not been inhospitable to pharma patent owners according to a report issued in mid-June by BiologicsHQ, a searchable database of drugs, patents, and companies involved in PTAB inter partes review (IPR) proceedings developed by attorneys at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto. The BiologicsHQ report shows a much different story in terms of drug patents facing IPR challenges at the PTAB. The report looks at a combination of data sources, including the Orange Book, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) listed biologics and statistics on America Invents Act (AIA) trials published by the PTAB. The BiologicsHQ report draws the conclusion that, despite widespread concerns about the PTAB operating as a patent death squad in IPRs, “such concern is not justified for drug patents.”

Restricting Patents on New Combinations and Uses of Medicines Makes No Sense

IP-skeptics charge that these inventions are little more than a way for pharmaceutical companies to cynically prolong patent life and maximize profits, without providing any meaningful innovation. This rather simplistic view misunderstands how the patent system works, and the role of patents in incentivizing drug discovery and development. In reality, many of today’s most significant medicines owe their existence to the ability of medical innovators to secure patents for novel new forms and new uses of existing treatments.

Superbugs Require New Weapons: Strong, Effective Intellectual Property Rights May Be Our Best, Last Hope

The dangers of killer germs and superbugs are not limited to bird flu in China, Ebola in West Africa, Zika in South America and MERS in the Middle East… If we are to have a fighting chance against superbugs and pandemics, we must invest in innovation and safeguard the property rights that incentivize these discoveries. Short-sighted efforts to enervate existing intellectual property rights laws and policies will not only damage incentives to innovate, they may hand a victory to the superbugs.

Big Pharma, Generics and Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

Generic drug manufacturers can pose major financial threats to those companies that invent and develop the copied drugs both domestically and internationally… Before TRIPS, most of the world’s developing countries had very weak patent protections, especially for pharmaceuticals. These weaknesses included — but were not limited to — shorter patent terms ranging from 4 to 7 years, narrowly defined patents which allowed for imitations, and greatly reduced monopoly rights of the patent owner by the permissive use of compulsory licenses. This divergence demonstrates a disconnect between the above mentioned weaknesses and the strong protections of industrial countries with their 20-year patent terms and almost unlimited monopoly rights… For pharmaceutical patent owners, these TRIPS amendments try to harmonize the worldwide rights afforded to them by balancing the interests of the rights holder and those of consumers.

Lex Machina ANDA litigation report shows recent decline in case filings and top parties in filings

Lex Machina recently released a Hatch-Waxman/ANDA litigation report detailing trends and key findings from pharmaceutical cases filed in U.S. district courts between January 1st, 2009, and March 31st, 2017. More than eight years worth of data shows that patent infringement case filings in response to abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined in 2016 for the first time in three years.