Coherus Udenyca® Update: Trade Secret Case Settled; BPCIA Appeal Argued

On May 2, 2019 Coherus BioSciences, Inc. (“Coherus”) announced that it has settled the trade secret action brought by Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) relating to Amgen’s Neulasta® and Coherus’ Udenyca® products.

In March 2017, Amgen filed a complaint alleging a “massive conspiracy” by disloyal former Amgen employees in a “concerted effort to steal Amgen’s trade secrets and siphon off its talent.”  Amgen further alleged that Coherus targeted former Amgen employees and encouraged former Amgen employees to “retain, disclose, and use valuable Amgen trade secrets and know-how in their work for Coherus.”  Shortly after Amgen filed its Complaint, Danny Lanfear, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coherus, stated that “[Coherus] categorically reject[s] the theme of Amgen’s Complaint.”  Mr. Lanfear further stated that “Coherus believes this lawsuit is best understood as an effort by Amgen to use baseless litigation in an effort to delay Coherus as a competitor in the pegfilgrastim market.”

According to the press release related to the settlement, Coherus will continue to market Udenyca® and pay a mid-single digit royalty to Amgen for five years.

In a separate Udenyca® dispute, Amgen and Coherus gave oral arguments on Wednesday before the Federal Circuit in Amgen’s appeal of a district court’s order dismissing its complaint alleging that Coherus’ Udenyca® infringed Amgen’s patents.  Amgen argues that the district court erroneously applied the prosecution history estoppel and dedication-disclosure doctrines.  The arguments before the Federal Court primarily focused on the issue of prosecution history estoppel, with Coherus stating that the Court need not decide the issue of dedication-disclosure if they affirm on the issue of prosecution history estoppel.

Stay tuned to Big Molecule Watch as we continue to monitor this appeal.