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.

Kashiv Files IPRs on Amgen Process Patents

On March 7, 2019, Kashiv Biosciences filed two IPR petitions (IPR2019-00791 and IPR2019-00797) against Amgen process patents – U.S. Patent Nos. 8,940,878 and 9,643,997. The ‘878 and ‘997 patents are directed to methods to purify proteins expressed in a non-native soluble form in a non-mammalian expression system.  Kashiv asserts that claims 7-8, 11-12,…

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The Biologic Patent Transparency Act: Proposed Revisions to Purple Book

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of six senators introduced the Biologic Patent Transparency Act (“BPTA”), which the senators say will “help increase patent transparency, promote biosimilar competition, bring needed biosimilar treatments to patients faster, and ultimately, lower drug prices for consumers.” The sponsors further state that the bill will…

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Rituximab IPR Updates

Today, Pfizer filed a notice that it will not participate in the appeal of the final written decision of IPR2017-01168, which found all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,821,873 unpatentable. The ‘873 patent is directed to a method of treating lymphoma with anti-CD20 antibodies. Yesterday, Pfizer and Biogen filed a joint…

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Abbvie and Adalimumab Biosimilar Manufacturers Face Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Antitrust Violations Related to Patent Protection of Humira®

On March 18, 2019, UFCW Local 1500 Welfare Fund, a New-York based grocery union, filed a putative class-action lawsuit against AbbVie and seven adalimumab biosimilar manufacturers alleging misconduct and antitrust violations in connection with AbbVie’s assertion of patents to prevent the sale of biosimilar versions of Humira® in the United States….

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Coherus Settles with AbbVie, and Sues Amgen, Over Adalimumab Biosimilars (Updated)

Coherus announced today that it has executed settlement agreements with AbbVie that grant Coherus global, non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license rights under AbbVie’s intellectual property to commercialize CHS-1420, Coherus’ proposed adalimumab biosimilar.  According to the press release, the “global settlements resolve all pending disputes between the parties related to Coherus’ adalimumab biosimilar,” with Coherus’s…

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FDA's New Draft Biologic Naming Guidance

On March 4, 2019 FDA announced the availability of a draft guidance titled Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products: Update (“Naming Guidance”). According to FDA’s announcement the Naming Guidance reflects FDA’s current thinking on biological products licensed under Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (“PHS Act”). This draft guidance serves…

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FDA approves a fourth biosimilar of HERCEPTIN

Yesterday, the U.S. FDA approved Pfizer’s Trazimera™ (trastuzumab-qyyp), a biosimilar of Genentech’s Herceptin®, for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer and HER2-overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.  These indications are the same as those for which the reference product is approved. Trazimera™ is the fourth trastuzumab biosimilar, and the…

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Court Enters Preliminary Injunction Against JHL In Biosimilar Trade Secrets Case

As we previously reported, in October 2018, Genentech brought claims against Taiwan-based biosimilar developer JHL Biotech, Inc. and individual defendants for trade secret misappropriation, computer fraud, breach of contract, and other claims.  The alleged trade secrets relate to several of Genentech’s products: Rituxan® (rituximab), Herceptin® (trastuzumab), Avastin® (bevacizumab), and Pulmozyme®…

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Lilly to Launch Lower-Priced Insulin Product

On March 4, 2019, Eli Lilly announced that they will begin selling a lower-priced version of Humalog® (isulin lispro injection 100 units/mL) in the United States with a list price 50% lower than the current Humalog® list price.  The lower-priced version will be called Insulin Lispro and will be provided in…

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