Large tech companies have been virtually lining up to announce their foray into the digital health space recently. Industry analysts have long suspected that an incumbent industry with a strong customer base could come in and disrupt the nascent mHealth sector. Retail, fashion, financial, and ISP companies have all been considered potential disrupters. Now it

Times are tough in the life science financing environment, as underscored by numerous recent news stories as well as quarterly statistics from Dow Jones VentureSource and The MoneyTree Report.   

However, Fenwick’s First Half 2012 Life Science Venture Capital Survey highlights a few potential bright spots as well.  In particular, while the number of

The August 2012 decision in Momenta Pharmaceuticals v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has expanded the “safe harbor” provisions of Hatch-Waxman, with serious implications for the pharma and biotech industries.

Hatch-Waxman contains a “safe harbor” provision for the use of patented inventions “reasonably related to the development and submission of information under a Federal law which regulates

“People’s fates are simplified by their names” goes the quote from the Bulgarian novelist and playwright Elias Canetti. Whether this is indeed true for people is debatable but for biological drugs names are apparently critical, or so we can gather from recent warring between branded and generic industry organizations. Last week industry organizations BIO and

The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) re-authorization wrangling is underway on Capitol Hill. Today the House of Representatives takes up its version of the FDA bill the Senate passed last week. On May 24th the Senate version of the PDUFA bill passed on a 96-1 vote. The current PDUFA will expire on October 1st and debates in the House could, potentially, take all summer. However, legislators and industry observers have expressed hope for a final bill to be presented to the President for signature in early July. We’ll be closely following the progress of the reconciliation of the House and Senate bills.

Estimates vary but the present PDUFA will likely bring in around 6.4 billion dollars to FDA over its active period. Since PDUFA fees account for the majority of the FDA’s drug review budget, the core PDUFA legislative mandate has broad bi-partisan support. While PDUFA itself is fairly non-controversial, the various amendments that were attached at the beginning of the week led to intense debate. Many of those proposed amendments – such as energy drink registration and Canadian drug importation – were dropped from the final version of the Senate bill.

Continue Reading PDUFA Working Its Way Through Capitol Hill

The California Supreme Court will review the legality of so-called “pay-for-delay” settlements, whereby brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers pay other companies to delay release of a generic version of a patented drug. Although the California Supreme Court will be making its determination under state law, a decision finding all such agreements illegal would have a national impact.

The “pay-for-delay” agreement at issue here settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Bayer AG and its subsidiary after Barr Laboratories, Inc., sought to market a generic version of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, commonly known as Cipro. Under the terms of the 1997 agreement, Barr agreed not to market a generic version of Cipro until after expiration of U.S. Patent No. 4,670,444, in return for which Bayer paid Barr almost $400 million. The ’444 patent, which claims the ciprofloxacin hydrochloride molecule, expired in 2003.

Continue Reading California Supreme Court to Hear Cipro “Pay-For-Delay” Case

The Hatch-Waxman Act, a federal law passed in 1984, was designed to streamline the process for bringing generic drugs to market. Under the law, generic drug manufacturers may file an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) with the FDA toward approval for generic versions of already-approved drugs.
Such filings are founded on bioequivalence studies instead of clinical studies. In the filings, generic manufactures also must certify that the listed drug is not patented, that the patent has expired or that the patent is invalid or will not be infringed by the generic drug.

Continue Reading Recent Cases Raise Bar for Approving Generics