FSIS Updates Guidance Concerning Labels Not Eligible for Generic Approval

FSIS Updates Guidance Concerning Labels Not Eligible for Generic Approval

By Riëtte van Laack –
In November 2013, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA issued a regulation expanding the circumstances in which labels were eligible for generic label approval (see our previous post here). Under that regulation, meat and poultry labels need not be submitted for label review unless the labels fall within one of four categories, i.e., 1.) labels for “religious exempt products,” 2.) labels for products for export that are subject to requirements different from those applicable to products for marketing in the United States, 3.) labels that include special statements and claims, and 4.) labels for temporary approval. All other product labels need not be submitted for review but are generically approved provided that they are in compliance with applicable regulations. At the time that it issued the regulation, FSIS also issued guidance with a long list of examples of special statements and claims that needed to be submitted to FSIS for approval and a list of examples of claims that could be generically approved.
On August 18, 2017, FSIS issued the second update to its guidance.  According to its press release, this update “include[s] new examples of special statements and claims that require submitting for approval, factual statements and claims that are generically approved, changes that can be made generically to labels previously approved with special statements and claims, and changes that cannot be made generically to labels previously approved with special statements and claims.”
FSIS asserts that new special statements are marked with an asterisk. New special statements that require approval include egg free, family farm raised, certain implied nutrient content claims (e.g., made with olive oil, protein snack), Paleo Certified, and Paleo Friendly. Some of the information is reorganized. Notably, information about label approvals regarding approval requirements for labels for religious exempt products, export labels that are different from domestic labels, and labels for temporary approval (for labeling errors that do not pose a potential health or safety issue) has been moved to a new Appendix (Appendix 7) making it easier to locate.
FSIS invites comments. The comment period is open for 60 days. Meanwhile, FSIS advises companies to use the updated guidance when determining whether they need to submit a label for approval. Questions regarding labeling statements that are not included in the guidance can be submitted any time via askFSIS.

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FDA Releases Food Safety Plan Software

FDA Releases Food Safety Plan Software

By Ricardo Carvajal –
In a blog posting that cited the agency’s goal of educating while regulating, FDA released the Food Safety Plan Builder (FSPB) – a software program “designed to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities and meet the requirements of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR Part 117).”  The FSPB web page makes clear that use of the FSPB is voluntary and does not necessarily ensure compliant food safety procedures.  Nonetheless, the FSPB can be expected to find an audience, especially among smaller manufacturers that are subject to extended compliance dates and might not have yet invested substantial resources in developing a food safety plan.  Even larger manufacturers who have already developed their plans may be tempted to delve into the FSPB as a point of reference.
In conjunction with the software, FDA released 16 (!) training videos on YouTube that address various aspects of FSPB.  FDA also released a user guide with more detailed information.  Perhaps not surprising in light of the subject matter, the user guide includes a lengthy legal disclaimer putting users on notice that FDA makes no warranties of any kind and admits of no liability for any damages, and that “[r]esponsibility for the interpretation and use of the [FSPB] and of the accompanying documentation lies solely with users.”  

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FDA Releases Food Safety Plan Software

FDA Releases Food Safety Plan Software

By Ricardo Carvajal –
In a blog posting that cited the agency’s goal of educating while regulating, FDA released the Food Safety Plan Builder (FSPB) – a software program “designed to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities and meet the requirements of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR Part 117).”  The FSPB web page makes clear that use of the FSPB is voluntary and does not necessarily ensure compliant food safety procedures.  Nonetheless, the FSPB can be expected to find an audience, especially among smaller manufacturers that are subject to extended compliance dates and might not have yet invested substantial resources in developing a food safety plan.  Even larger manufacturers who have already developed their plans may be tempted to delve into the FSPB as a point of reference.
In conjunction with the software, FDA released 16 (!) training videos on YouTube that address various aspects of FSPB.  FDA also released a user guide with more detailed information.  Perhaps not surprising in light of the subject matter, the user guide includes a lengthy legal disclaimer putting users on notice that FDA makes no warranties of any kind and admits of no liability for any damages, and that “[r]esponsibility for the interpretation and use of the [FSPB] and of the accompanying documentation lies solely with users.”  

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HHS Proposes Longer Delays to Implementation of the 340B Final Rule

HHS Proposes Longer Delays to Implementation of the 340B Final Rule

By David C. Gibbons & Alan M. Kirschenbaum –
On August 21, 2017, the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”), the federal agency responsible for overseeing the 340B Drug Discount Program, published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would delay until July 1, 2018 the implementation of the Final Rule establishing the methodology for calculating the 340B ceiling price (including the so-called penny pricing policy) and civil monetary penalties (“CMPs”) for knowing and intentional overcharges of 340B covered entities (see our original post regarding the Final Rule here).  
Similar to the reason given for previous delays (see our posts here and here), HRSA indicated that this latest delay to mid-2018 will “allow for necessary time to more fully consider the substantial questions of fact, law, and policy raised by the rule.” 82 Fed. Reg. 39,554.  The impetus for HRSA’s delay to the effective date of the Final Rule expressly derives from both the “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum issued by the Trump administration on January 20, 2017 as well as the Executive Order issued the same day entitled, “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [(‘ACA’)] Pending Repeal.”  See our post here that described the Regulatory Freeze memorandum.  The Regulatory Freeze memorandum provided time for the Trump administration to review and reconsider regulations implemented during the Obama administration.  The Executive Order directed Trump appointees, including the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and other executive offices to “utilize all authority and discretion available to delay the implementation of certain provisions or requirements of the [ACA].” Id.  The ACA required HHS to improve aspects of 340B program integrity with a statutory mandate to develop a system to enable HHS to verify the accuracy of ceiling prices calculated and reported by manufacturers, including the implementation of “precisely defined standards and methodology for the calculation of ceiling prices,” and to impose CMPs for manufacturer overcharges to covered entities.  42 U.S.C. § 256b(d)(1)(B)(i)(I), (vi).  The 340B Final Rule was HRSA’s long-overdue rulemaking aimed at implementing those ACA provisions.  Despite unsuccessful attempts by Congress to repeal and replace the ACA since that Executive Order was issued, the Executive Order appears, nevertheless, to continue to affect certain rulemaking implementing the ACA, including this 340B Final Rule.
Unlike the previous delays, this one raises the possibility that substantive changes may be made to the Final Rule. This NPRM states that, more than merely delaying implementation, HRSA “intends to engage in additional rulemaking on these issues” and will take additional time to consider a “more deliberate rulemaking process.”  As a further signal that regulatory changes may be forthcoming, HRSA stated that the agency did not want manufacturers to invest time and expense coming into compliance with a Final Rule “that is under further consideration and for which substantive questions have been raised . . . .” Id.  However, the NPRM contains no information on what substantive questions have been raised or what the new rulemaking would entail.
Public comments on the delay to the effective date of the Final Rule are also being solicited by HRSA in this NPRM. They are due to the agency on or before September 20, 2017.
We will continue to track and report on further developments regarding implementation of the Final Rule or other updates concerning the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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In Menu Labeling Lawsuit, FDA Files Motion to Dismiss, Claiming that Plaintiffs Have No Standing

In Menu Labeling Lawsuit, FDA Files Motion to Dismiss, Claiming that Plaintiffs Have No Standing

By Riëtte van Laack –
In June 2017, two consumer advocacy organizations, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumer League (“Plaintiffs”), sued FDA challenging the Agency’s interim final rule extending the compliance date for menu labeling and request for comments (see our previous post here).  In response, FDA filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint because: 1) the Plaintiffs lack standing; and, in the alternative, 2) even if the Plaintiffs have standing, Plaintiffs’ claims are premature and not ripe for review.
FDA argues that the Plaintiffs are not directly affected by the menu labeling rule. As a third party, Plaintiffs must meet a higher burden than a party that is directly affected by the rule, i.e., the regulated industry. FDA provides several arguments to support its claim that the Plaintiffs lack standing. For example, Plaintiffs had asserted an injury to their mission of conducting innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and providing consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being. However, as FDA notes, the menu-labeling rule is not designed to provide consumer advocacy organizations with information. Instead the purpose of the menu labeling is “for consumers to receive [nutritional] information directly from restaurants.” Moreover, FDA’s extension of the compliance date does not affect Plaintiffs’ advocacy work. According to FDA, whatever injuries Plaintiffs claim, they are “unsupported, self-inflicted by Plaintiffs, or dependent on voluntary actions by third parties.”
Even if the Plaintiffs have standing, FDA argues, Plaintiffs claims are not ripe. The interim final rule was just that, an interim rule. It is not a final determination; the decision is “in flux.” In fact, FDA notes that it expressly asked for comments and expressed a willingness to modify the extension of the willingness. Plaintiffs, like any other party, have had an opportunity (which they used) to submit comments. The comment period closed on August 2, 2017, almost two months after Plaintiffs filed their complaint. The Agency asserts that it is actively considering the numerous comments (according to the latest count, more than 71,000 comments were submitted). Since FDA is reviewing the comments and considering future actions, it does not make sense for the Court to take any action, FDA argues, and any determination by the Court on the merits may be “overtaken by the ultimate decision” by FDA.
Since standing must be addressed before the merits, FDA does not address the merits of the Plaintiffs’ complaint.
We look forward to reading Plaintiffs’ response.

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No Room for Camera Shyness: FDA Issues Another Warning Letter Citing Refusal to Permit Photography

No Room for Camera Shyness: FDA Issues Another Warning Letter Citing Refusal to Permit Photography

By Gugan Kaur & Douglas B. Farquhar –              
FDA seems to be getting bolder in penalizing industry when it prevents an FDA investigator from taking photographs during a routine FDA inspection.
On August 2, 2017, FDA issued a Warning Letter to Homeolab USA Inc. (part of the parent company, Homeocan Inc. located in Montreal, Québec) for, among other things, impeding the FDA inspection by preventing the investigator from photographing a piece of equipment. FDA claimed the alleged failure to permit photographs constitutes a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDC Act), citing section 501(j) of the FDC Act, which deems drugs adulterated when an owner or operator of a drug facility limits an FDA inspection. FDA relied on its Guidance, titled “Circumstances that Constitute Delaying, Denying, Limiting, or Refusing a Drug Inspection”, which provides examples of behavior that FDA considers to constitute a limitation and explicitly states that “impeding or resisting photography by an FDA investigator may be considered a limitation if such photographs are determined by the investigator to be necessary to effectively conduct that particular inspection.” Based on this and other alleged violations, FDA asserts in the Warning Letter that drugs produced at the Homeolab USA facility are deemed adulterated because of the company’s refusal to allow photographs.
Also, because Homeolab USA’s parent company is located in Québec, FDA banned the company’s products from entering the United States by placing the company on Import Alert 66-40. The Import Alert means that FDA can detain, without physical examination, products imported to the United States, and can continue to detain these products until it is satisfied that the appearance of a violation has been removed, either by reinspection or submission of appropriate documentation to the responsible FDA Center.
FDA previously issued a citation relating to a photo refusal in a September 2016 Warning Letter to Nippon Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. (see our previous post here). This Warning Letter was of note because FDA effectively shut down a drug facility based solely on its conduct during an FDA inspection. FDA deemed the drugs produced at the facility adulterated based on the fact that the company limited an inspection and/or refused to permit the FDA inspection in three ways: 1) barring access to areas, 2) refusing to provide copies of documents, and 3) limiting photography. That Warning Letter cited no other observed GMP or safety concern related to the company’s products or procedures.
The recent increase in Warning Letters referencing limiting photography as a violative act shows that FDA, relying on its non-binding guidance, is employing an expansive approach in exercising its inspection powers. This is in spite of the fact that, as far as we know, there has been no case in which a court has held that a company’s refusal to allow FDA inspectors to take photographs constitutes a violation of the FDC Act (see previous posts here and here).
But we will be watching closely to see whether a court agrees that FDA’s inspection authority requires industry to permit investigators to take photographs during routine inspections, and will ensure that our faithful blog consumers are made aware of developments.

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FDA Goes Farther Down the 3-Year Exclusivity Rabbit Hole With XTAMPZA ER-ROXYBOND Exclusivity Decision

FDA Goes Farther Down the 3-Year Exclusivity Rabbit Hole With XTAMPZA ER-ROXYBOND Exclusivity Decision

By Kurt R. Karst –
Children of the 1970/80s can easily recall that famous “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” commercial. Well, there’s a Hatch-Waxman version of that question: “How many approvals does it take to get to the center of 3-year exclusivity?”  While the world has known for a couple of years the answer to the Tootsie Pop question, FDA only recently provided an answer to the Hatch-Waxman version of the question.  And as with other recent 3-year exclusivity issues, the answer has come up in the context of abuse-deterrent opioids (see our previous posts here, here, here, and here).  But before we give up the answer, some background is on order. . . . 
On April 26, 2016, FDA approved Collegium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (“Collegium’s”) NDA 208090 for XTAMPZA ER (oxycodone) Extended-release Capsules for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. XTAMPZA ER was approved as a 505(b)(2) NDA, relying on FDA’s finding of safety and effectiveness for  OXYCONTIN (oxycodone HCl) Controlled-release Tablets (NDA 022272). 
XTAMPZA ER was approved just days after the expiration of a period of 3-year exclusivity applicable to OXYCONTIN. That exclusivity was granted based on FDA’s April 16, 2013 approval of NDA 022272/S014, and was coded in the Orange Book as “M-153” (which is defined as: “ADDITION OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE INTRANASAL ABUSE POTENTIAL OF OXYCONTIN”).  In a March 3, 2015 Memorandum, the CDER Exclusivity Board explained the Agency’s decision to grant a period of 3-year exclusivity with respect to the April 16, 2013 approval of NDA 022272/S014 (see our previous post here), as well as the scope of that exclusivity: “the scope of 3-year exclusivity in this instance is limited to the addition of information to the [OXYCONTIN] labeling regarding the reduction of abuse via the intranasal route.”
In support of it’s NDA for XTAMPZA ER, Collegium conducted a couple of its own clinical investigations: an efficacy trial and a human abuse liability study assessing deterrence of intranasal abuse (Study CP-OXYDET-21). FDA subsequently granted Collegium a period of 3-year exclusivity for XTAMPZA ER that expires on April 26, 2019 and that is coded in the Orange Book as “NP” (for “New Product” exclusivity). 
In light of a then-pending NDA for Inspirion Delivery Sciences, LLC’s (“Inspirion’s”) ROXYBOND (oxycodone HCl) Tablets, 5 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg (NDA 209777) for the management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate, the CDER Exclusivity Board once again earlier this year had to assess the scope of 3-year exclusivity – in this case for XTAMPZA ER – and whether that exclusivity served as an obstacle to the approval of ROXYBOND. In a 20-page Memorandum dated April 20, 2017, the CDER Exclusivity Board concluded that “Xtampza ER’s exclusivity based on study CP-OXYDET-21 covers the specific formulation of Xtampza ER associated with its inlranasal [abuse-deterrrent] properties,” and that “[b]ecause RoxyBond’s formulation associated with its intranasal AD properties is different from that of Xtampza ER, it does not share any exclusivity-protected conditions of approval of Xtampza ER” and the 3-year NP exclusivity applicable to XTAMPZA ER “should not block approval of RoxyBond” (emphasis added).  So, FDA approved NDA 209777 for ROXYBOND on April 20, 2017.  (By the by, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Research Services, Inc. recently filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania challenging FDA’s ROXYBOND approval.)
That’s right! Although FDA previously articulated what we’ve dubbed a “route of abuse” approach to abuse-deterrent opioid 3-year exclusivity, that approach has evolved.  It’s been modified a bit to account for formulation differences and the type of abuse-deterrence technology used (e.g., physical/chemical barriers, agonist/antagonist combinations, aversion, delivery system, and others discussed in FDA guidance).  FDA explains the general exclusivity framework as follows:

[I]n assessing the scope of 3-year exclusivity for a single-entity drug product containing the same active moiety as a previously approved single-entity drug product, the Agency looks at the innovative change(s) represented by the later-approved drug product relative to the previously approved drug product. Exclusivity for the later-approved drug product cannot cover any condition of approval for which “new clinical investigations” were not “essential.”  If an earlier-approved drug product was approved for a particular condition of approval, new clinical investigations would not be considered “essential” to support the same condition of approval for a later-approved drug product containing the same active moiety.  Rather, the new clinical investigations would be considered essential only to support a condition of approval for the later-approved drug product that is different from the condition of approval of the earlier-approved drug product.  Because 3-year exclusivity generally covers only the differences from a previously approved product, as a practical matter a later-approved product is likely to have a narrower scope of exclusivity than the product approved previously.

The following example provided by FDA illustrates the above concepts:

The scope of exclusivity based on new clinical investigations that establish for the first time that an active moiety previously approved only as a single-entity, IR drug product can be formulated as a safe and effective extended-release drug product could potentially block approval of subsequent 505(b)(2) NDA for a single-entity, extended-release drug product containing that active moiety.
Any determination of the scope of exclusivity for a subsequent 505(b)(2) NDA for an extended-release drug product containing the same active moiety would generally follow the framework described above in which the innovative change(s) represented by this product would be assessed relative to the first approved extended-release product. If, for instance, the subsequent product uses different extended-release technology for which new clinical investigations were essential, the scope of exclusivity for this subsequent product would only cover this innovative change.

FDA’s evolution in thinking has caused the Agency to reassess the scope of previously granted exclusivity. According to FDA:

In light of the evolution of the Agency’s approach to assessing 3-year exclusivity for certain [abuse-deterrent] opioids . . . . [the CDER Exclusivity Board] reassessed the scope of OxyContin’s 3-year exclusivity related to S-14. Applying an approach to the scope of 3-year exclusivity for [abuse-deterrent] opioids . . . in which the scope is defined by two primary characteristics: (1) the abuse route (intranasal); and (2) the type of abuse deterrence applied (physiochemical properties), the Board recommended that the scope of OxyContin exclusivity be limited to the condition of approval supported by the intranasal [human abuse liability] study, i.e., “labeling describing the expected reduction of abuse of a single-entity oxycodone by the intranasal route of administration due to physiochemical properties.”

With that reassessment, FDA then defined the narrowing scope of each period of successive 3-year exclusivity for single-entity oxycodone:

The approval of supplement S-14 for OxyContin established for the first time that a single-entity oxycodone product could be formulated with physicochemical properties expected to reduce intranasal abuse, and the resulting scope of exclusivity reflects this innovation. Xtampza ER, like OxyContin, is also a single-entity oxycodone product with physicochemical properties expected to reduce intranasal abuse.  The [human abuse liability] study supporting approval of Xtampza ER with an intranasal [abuse-deterrent] claim, CP-OXYDET-21, was not essential to show that a single-entity oxycodone product could be formulated with physicochemical properties expected to reduce intranasal abuse.  Approval of OxyContin S-14 had already established that.  Rather, the study was essential to support that Xtampza ER’s particular formulation contributes to its intranasal [abuse-deterrent] properties. Specifically, Study CP-OXYDET-21 demonstrated that, as a result of Xtampza ER’s specific formulation, intranasal administration of crushed Xtampza ER resulted in a substantially lower response to Drug Liking, High, and Take Drug Again measures, compared to IR oxycodone.  The Board thus recommends that the scope of Xtampza ER’s 3-year exclusivity based on study CP-OXYDET-21 be limited to “labeling describing the expected reduction of abuse of Xtampza ER by the intranasal route of administration due to physicochemical properties.”

Because ROXYBOND uses a combination of excipients that imparts physical and chemical barriers that make it difficult to manupulate and abuse the drug product, and that formulation differs from XTAMPZA ER to achieve its intranasal abuse-deterrent properties, FDA concluded that the approval of ROXYBOND (NDA 209777) was not blocked by XTAMPZA ER’s 3-year exclusivity.
So, how many approvals does it take to get to the center of 3-year exclusivity? Well, the answer will depend on the starting point, but apparently it’s not too many approvals in the context of abuse-deterrent opioids.  Furthermore, because FDA now defines the scope of 3-year exclusivity for an abuse-deterrent drug to encompass not only the route of abuse, but also the type of abuse-deterrence technology used, we assume that there will be far fewer instances in which 3-year exclusivity could serve as a block to abuse-deterrent opioid 505(b)(2) NDA approval. 

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FDA Action Against Outsourcing Facility, the Sequel

FDA Action Against Outsourcing Facility, the Sequel

By Douglas B. Farquhar –
Just last month, we blogged about what we believe to be the first Consent Decree signed by the government and an Outsourcing Facility, shutting down operations under judicial order until certain rigorous conditions are met.  Now, comes the second.
Isomeric Pharmacy Solutions, LLC and three affiliated individuals (all Defendants in the matter) signed a Consent Decree that was entered in federal court in Utah (U.S. District Court for the Central Division of the District of Utah) on August 3.  The Outsourcing Facility was also the subject of a Warning Letter in December 2016 and a recall about four months ago.
The Complaint filed in the case alleges that the named individual Defendants were owners or the Chief Operating Officer for the Outsourcing Facility, and that the Outsourcing Facility distributed drugs that were supposed to be sterile but that had “visible black particles” in a preservative-free injectable drug.  The Complaint also alleged that Isomeric found “spore-forming bacteria” in media fills (which are designed to demonstrate that there are no breaches of sterility in the manufacturing process), and contamination of aseptic processing areas with bacteria and fungus.  While the Complaint alleges that Isomeric detected flaws in products relating to, for example, particle size, the Complaint does not allege that any microbial contamination was found in products.  The Complaint also alleges that Isomeric distributed unapproved new drugs.
Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the Defendants are prohibited from distributing drugs manufactured at any of their facilities until and unless they take hire a qualified consultant who determines they are operating in compliance with current FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice requirements, and FDA certifies, in writing, that FDA agrees.
Outsourcing Facilities are relatively new, quasi-drug manufacturing entities established by legislation in November of 2013 (see our previous post here).  They are permitted to compound and distribute certain drugs under certain conditions, without FDA approvals, adequate directions for use , compliance with new serialization and other drug tracking requirements, and without patient-specific prescriptions from health care providers (so-called “office use” compounding).

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Discovery in the BPCIA Era: Federal Circuit Rules in Amgen v. Hospira EPOGEN Biosimilar Dispute

Discovery in the BPCIA Era: Federal Circuit Rules in Amgen v. Hospira EPOGEN Biosimilar Dispute

By Sara W. Koblitz –
As we mentioned back in July, courts continue to address a wide variety of procedural questions arising from the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”). The most recent is a decision from the Federal Circuit in an interlocutory appeal pending since July 2016 in the revised Amgen v. Hospira matter, Case 1:15-cv-00839 (D. Del.), No. 2016-2179 (Fed. Cir. 2017).  Like many of the recent BPCIA actions of late, this case raises questions about how a reference product sponsor can adequately assert its patent rights when the biosimilar sponsor doesn’t provide all of its manufacturing information.
Here, the Federal Circuit essentially told Amgen that it won’t mandate discovery to support a fishing expedition.  Alleging various failures to comply with the BPCIA, Amgen filed its initial patent infringement complaint against Hospira with respect to a biosimilar version of Epogen in the District Court of Delaware. In the course of this litigation, Amgen appealed to the Federal Circuit the District Court’s denial of its Motion to Compel Discovery of Hospira’s biosimilar manufacturing process and related cell-culture information.  In the alternative, Amgen requested a Writ of Mandamus order to compel discovery.  The Federal Circuit denied both of these requests as meritless.
Disposing of the Motion to Compel Discovery quickly, the Federal Circuit explained that it lacked jurisdiction over the Motion to Compel under the collateral order doctrine, as discovery rulings generally do not qualify for exception to the final judgement rule (requiring parties to wait until final judgment to appeal rulings). Amgen argued that waiting until final judgment renders the decision “effectively unreviewable,” but the Federal Circuit could not identify a clear-cut statutory purpose undermined by denying immediate appeal.
In the alternative, Amgen argued for mandamus under the All Writs Act ordering the District Court to compel discovery. The Federal Circuit explained that mandamus is a drastic remedy reserved for extraordinary cases with no other means to attain the requested relief; a party seeking this remedy must demonstrate “clear and indisputable” right to such relief.  Here, the Federal Circuit could not identify a “clear and indisputable” right to the cell-culture information.  The Court explained that the BCPIA, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Sandoz v. Amgen, leaves two relevant avenues for Amgen to secure process information from Hospira: sue for infringement of the patents included on the patent list exchanged with Hospira or sue for infringement of a patent that could be identified on such a list of patents.  Because Amgen did not list any of or bring suit on any of its cell-culture patents, the cell-culture process is not relevant to any claim of infringement asserted by Amgen (or any of Hospira’s defenses or counterclaims).  Amgen even conceded as much. 
The Federal Circuit emphasized that “[n]othing in Sandoz suggests that the BPCIA somehow supplants the preexisting rules of civil procedure.”  While a sponsor may access information through discovery and a sponsor may list or sue on a patent for which an applicant has not provided information – all without risking Rule 11 sanctions (targeting arguments that have no evidentiary support) – the usual rules governing discovery still apply in the BPCIA context.  While an outline of BPCIA-avenues for obtaining withheld information certainly helps provide clarity, the denial of this interlocutory appeal isn’t surprising.  Nothing in Sandoz or any other BPCIA decision indicates a shit in civil procedures rules, but it is always helpful to have that in writing.
For now, Amgen v. Hospira continues on . . . without cell-culture information. 

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ACI’s 5th Annual Paragraph IV Disputes Master Symposium

ACI’s 5th Annual Paragraph IV Disputes Master Symposium

The American Conference Institute’s (“ACI’s”) 5th annual “Paragraph IV Disputes Master Symposium” is coming up! The conference will take place from October 2-3, 2017 at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.
ACI has put together an excellent program for conference attendees that include presentations from esteemed Judges and key representatives from the FDA and the PTO. In addition, attendees will get to hear from a virtual “who’s who” of Hatch-Waxman litigators and industry decision makers.  Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.’s Kurt R. Karst, will be speaking at a session titled “Brand and Generic Perspectives on the FDA Final MMA Rule: Assessing Its Impact on Hatch-Waxman Practice.”
FDA Law Blog is a conference media partner. As such, we can offer our readers a 10% discount off the current price tier.  The discount code is: P10-999-FDAB18.  You can access the conference brochure and sign up for the event here.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference. 

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