According to the Federal Circuit, $173 million was the right damages award for almost three years of patent infringement resulting from Baxalta’s sale of its biologic product Adynovate® (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated). In Bayer Healthcare LLC v. Baxalta Inc., et al., Nos. 2019-2418, 2020-1017 (Fed. Cir. 2021), the circuit court upheld an award to Bayer HealthCare LLC of $155 million in royalties and $18 million in pre-verdict supplemental damages, without enhancement, for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 9,364,520 (the “’520 Patent”), which is directed to recombinant forms of human factor VIII.
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Biologics Blog is a source of insights, information and analysis related to biologics, including the legal developments, trends and changing regulation that impact the biotechnology industry. Patterson Belknap represents biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in a broad range of patent litigation matters, including patent infringement cases, PTO trial proceedings, patent licensing and other contractual disputes. Our team includes highly experienced trial attorneys with extensive technical knowledge, many of whom have advanced scientific degrees and industry experience in fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, statistics and nuclear engineering.
The fight over proposed Enbrel® (etanercept) biosimilar Erelzi® continues. Sandoz Inc., Sandoz International GmbH and Sandoz GmbH (“Sandoz”) recently filed a petition for certiorari requesting review of the judgement of the Federal Circuit on whether:
The Federal Circuit considered its 35 U.S.C. § 112 enablement case law and found that “the enablement inquiry for claims that include functional requirements”—in this case, claims to antibodies defined by their function—“can be particularly focused on the breadth of those requirements, especially where predictability and guidance fall short.” Dkt. 132 at 10. In Amgen Inc. et al. v. Sanofi, Aventisub LLC, et al., 20-1074 (Fed. Cir.), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of non-enablement for claims asserted by Amgen Inc., Amgen Manufacturing, Ltd., and Amgen USA, Inc. (collectively, “Amgen”).
On February 5, 2021, the FDA approved Juno Therapeutics, Inc.’s Breyanzi® (lisocabtagene maraleucel) for “treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.”
The last two years saw the launch of several biosimilars. Looking ahead to 2021, several others may be on the horizon. In 2019-2020, the FDA approved thirteen biosimilars directed to seven reference products. Eight of the approved biosimilars have launched, while five are either embroiled in litigation or awaiting agreed-upon launch dates.
The Federal Circuit has spoken. In a per curiam opinion, it denied Valeant’s petition for rehearing by the panel and rehearing en banc.
Last week, Mylan filed a brief in opposition to Valeant’s petition for rehearing en banc in Valeant Pharms. N. Am. LLC v. Mylan Pharms. Inc., No. 2019-2402. In November, a Federal Circuit panel held that venue in Hatch-Waxman cases brought under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2)(A) is proper “only in districts where actions related to the submission of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (‘ANDA’) occur, not in all locations where future distribution of the generic products specified in the ANDA is contemplated.” Valeant contends that rehearing is necessary because the panel’s decision conflicts with precedent regarding “what the act of infringement is” and “where the act of infringement occurs” under Section 271(e)(2) of the Patent Act. By contrast, Mylan contends that the petition for rehearing should be denied because the “panel correctly applied black-letter rules of statutory interpretation” in reaching its decision, and the precedents identified by Valeant are derived from “far-afield cases and ignore the governing venue precedents.” Dkt. 89 at 7-15.
Earlier this month, Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC (“Valeant”) filed a petition for rehearing en banc in Valeant Pharms. N. Am. LLC v. Mylan Pharms. Inc., No. 2019-2402, arguing that the Federal Circuit panel’s decision limiting venue in Hatch-Waxman cases conflicts with precedent regarding “what the act of infringement is” and “where the act of infringement occurs” under Section 271(e)(2) of the Patent Act. Dkt. 75 at 15, 20. In its panel decision, the Federal Circuit held that venue in Hatch-Waxman cases brought under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2)(A) is proper “only in districts where actions related to the submission of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (‘ANDA’) occur, not in all locations where future distribution of the generic products specified in the ANDA is contemplated."
For the First Time Since TC Heartland, the Federal Circuit Addresses Venue in an ANDA Case – the Holding May Also Impact BPCIA Litigation
On November 5, 2020, in Valeant Pharms. N. Am. LLC v. Mylan Pharms. Inc., No. 2019-2402, the Federal Circuit held that venue in Hatch-Waxman cases brought under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2)(A) is proper “only in districts where actions related to the submission of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (‘ANDA’) occur, not in all locations where future distribution of the generic products specified in the ANDA is contemplated.” Slip op. at 3. If the ruling stands, it will restrict venue available against domestic generic drug makers in ANDA cases, and may similarly impact venue in litigation under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”).
On October 6, FDA issued updated guidance for industry concerning “Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19,” updating the previous guidance issued in June. The updated guidance, which is being “implemented immediately” and “without prior public comment,” is intended “to provide sponsors of requests for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines with recommendations regarding the data and information needed to support the issuance of an EUA . . . for an investigational vaccine to prevent COVID-19 for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency."
On January 7, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published new guidance for patent examiners intended to address concerns expressed by Federal Circuit judges, industry stakeholders, and others about the perceived lack of predictability and clarity in determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. See 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance, 84 Fed. Reg. 50 (Jan. 7, 2019). The guidance, which is intended for use by USPTO personnel in evaluating subject matter eligibility, “revises the procedures for determining whether a patent claim or patent application claim is directed to a judicial exception (laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas).” Id. This new guidance represents an attempt by the USPTO to address “the legal uncertainty surrounding Section 101,” recognizing that “[m]any stakeholders, judges, inventors, and practitioners across the spectrum have argued that something needs to be done to increase clarity and consistency in how Section 101 is currently applied.” Id.
Two cases decided by the Federal Circuit in 2018, Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., 882 F.3d 1121, en banc rehearing denied, 890 F.3d 1354 and Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360, en banc rehearing denied, 890 F.3d 1369, address what qualifies as patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and how courts should resolve that question. These cases expose divisions within the court on § 101 issues, however, and leave uncertainty in their wake. Many stakeholders, including judges, are therefore calling for guidance from the Supreme Court as to how to resolve such issues or seeking the aid of Congress.