Pfizer v. J&J Remicade® Antitrust Trial Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

We have been covering Pfizer’s antitrust suit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the manufacturer of Remicade® (infliximab).  As we previously reported, Pfizer filed an antitrust lawsuit in September 2017 against J&J in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that J&J has engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to protect its Remicade product since Pfizer introduced its competing biosimilar Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) in 2016.  On November 18, 2017, J&J filed a motion to dismiss Pfizer’s complaint and on January 26, 2018, the Biosimilars Council filed an unopposed motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in opposition to J&J’s motion to dismiss.  On August 8, 2018, the Court denied J&J’s motion to dismiss, finding that Pfizer’s complaint sufficiently pleads that it has suffered an antitrust injury as the result of J&J’s allegedly anticompetitive conduct.  The Court also denied the Biosimilars Council motion for leave.  Since that time, the parties have engaged in pre-trial discovery, with the close of fact discovery most recently set for May 29, 2020.

On March 16, 2020, due to travel restrictions and work-from-home directives in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Court entered a stipulated amended scheduling order to postpone all depositions until April 10, 2020 or later, and extend all other deadlines in the pre-trial schedule by four weeks.  On March 24, 2020, following additional state and local orders to remain home and closing non-essential businesses, the Court entered a second stipulated amended scheduling order to further postpone all depositions until June 4, 2020 or later, and to extend all other deadlines in the pre-trial schedule by 55 days.  As a result, the close of fact discovery is now set for August 20, 2020.