Welcome to the Big Molecule Watch!


Big Molecule Watch will be posting updates and analyses on regulatory issues, litigation, legislation, and other news in the ever-developing world of biosimilars. The editors of this blog have collectively been watching and engaging with the world of biosimilars (“big molecules”) since before the inception of the biosimilar industry in the U.S., and we’re excited to share the observations of our active watch on this new forum.

If you’re looking for a primer on biologics, check out our background post introducing the world of biologics, biosimilars, and the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”).

We’ve also collected (and will continue to update) some reference documents that might be of interest to visitors of this blog—you can find them under the “Links” section to the right of this page.

An Interview with Prof. Arti Rai about the Role of “Patent Thickets” in U.S. Biosimilar Market Entry

Last week, Big Molecule Watch sat down with Professor Arti Rai to discuss an article she recently co-authored, “How logically impossible patents block biosimilars.” The article, published earlier this month in the journal Nature Biotechnology, examines the differences between the patent and drug approval legal and regulatory regimes and how…

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Federal Circuit Will Not Halt Sales of Amgen’s MVASI (bevacizumab-awws) Before It Resolves Genentech’s Appeal

As we previously reported, after Amgen obtained FDA-approval for MVASI (bevacizumab-awws), a biosimilar of Genentech’s AVASTIN, Amgen submitted—and the FDA approved—a number of supplements that revised, among other things, manufacturing and labeling information for the product. Genentech subsequently filed a motion in the district court, arguing that the FDA’s approval…

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Amgen Drops Assertion of One Patent Against Mylan in Pegfilgrastim Biosimilar Litigation; One Patent Remains

As we previously reported, in the Amgen v. Mylan litigation concerning Mylan’s FULPHILA (pegfilgrastim-jmdb), a biosimilar of NEULASTA, Amgen has asserted that Mylan infringes two protein purification process patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,273,707 and 9,643,997. Early this month, the district court requested the parties’ positions with regard to the ’707…

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Biosimilar Development Updates

Below are highlights of biosimilar development news from the past couple of weeks: On August 5, Revance Therapeutics indicated on its quarterly earnings call that it has continued to have discussions with its collaborator Mylan about their proposed biosimilar of BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) since their initial advisory meeting with the FDA…

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BREAKING: Court Upholds Validity of Enbrel® (etanercept) Patents in Immunex v. Sandoz Suit

Today, in the Immunex v. Sandoz BPCIA litigation, a District of New Jersey judge held that U.S. Patent No. 8,063,182, related to “the fusion protein etanercept, the active ingredient in Immunex’s product Enbrel®” and U.S. Patent No. 8,163,522, related to Enbrel®’s method of manufacture, are not invalid.  As we previously reported,…

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USPTO Announces AIA Fee Increase

On July 31, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) outlining proposed increases in patent fees in a number of categories. In particular, America Invents Act (AIA) fees are subject to a 26% increase, substantially more than the 5% increase in…

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Federal Circuit Declines to Block Sales of Amgen’s KANJINTI (trastuzumab-anns) Before Resolving Genentech’s Appeal

As we previously reported, Genentech has appealed the Delaware district court’s denial of its preliminary injunction motion that sought to bar sales of Amgen’s KANJINTI (trastuzumab-anns) biosimilar in the United States.  In conjunction with its appeal, Genentech also asked the Federal Circuit (1) to issue an injunction against Amgen pending…

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Trump Administration Announces Action Plan to Allow Safe Importation of Prescription Drugs

On July 31, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Safe Importation Action Plan (“Action Plan”) created with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “allow the importation of certain prescription drugs originally intended for foreign markets,” particularly Canada. According to the HHS Secretary Alex Azar, “[the…

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