Sunday, January 21, 2007

Newark Star-Ledger on Plavix trial

The Jan. 21 Newark Star-Ledger has a story titled "Drugmaker near end of patent debacle" which begins:

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis will be in federal court this week to defend the patent on blood-thinner Plavix -- the final act in a bizarre melodrama that has caused severe financial pain and helped topple a chief executive.

The story also said:

Bristol-Myers and Sanofi are widely expected to win their patent case. In an earlier ruling, Judge Stein tipped his hand, saying the brand-name drugmakers would likely prevail in their patent-infringement lawsuit against Apotex.

The New York Times picked up a Reuters story, which included the text:

In opening arguments in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Evan Chesler, a lawyer for Sanofi and Bristol-Myers, said Apotex had no legal basis for its argument that the drug’s patent should be invalidated.

“They have basically rewritten history,” he said, arguing before Judge Sidney H. Stein, who is hearing the case without a jury.

But an Apotex lawyer, Robert Breisblatt, said the patent should not stand, in part because the drug formula would have been obvious to another scientist in the field.

IPBiz notes that neither paper mentioned the enantiomer/racemate "chiral switch" issue with Plavix. IPBiz wonder how all the "patent reformers" pontificating about KSR v. Teleflex would come out in this case, if they understood what happened in the Plavix matter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, carrying the same Reuters release, included a bit more substance:

Apotex has been challenging the patent since 2002, arguing it is not truly innovative but is based on the patent for a molecule which expired in 2003 and which provided information on how to make clopidogrel bisulfate, Plavix's chemical name.


Many pharmaceutical analysts have predicted Sanofi and Bristol will prevail in the patent infringement trial, in large part because Judge Stein previously granted a preliminary injunction in their favor.


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