New IPR Petitions Filed Against GSK Vaccine Process Patents

Yesterday, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. filed four IPR petitions (IPR2018-01229IPR2018-01236, IPR2018-01234, and IPR2018-01237) against GlaxoSmithKline process patents – US Patent Nos. 8,753,645 and 9,265,839.

The ‘645 and ‘839 Patents are directed towards a process of conjugating bacterial saccharides to protein carriers in order to improve the immunogenicity of vaccine therapy. Merck asserted that every claim of the ‘645 and ‘839 Patents are anticipated and/or obvious over the prior art. In particular, Merck states that reductive amination and periodate oxidation were well-known standard chemical reactions for making conjugates, a POSA knew that periodate could alter saccharide size and immunogenicity, and optimizing periodate amounts was routine experimentation.