Federal Appeals Court Upholds Teva Patent Suit Ruling
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling that Celgene did not infringe on a Teva subsidiary’s patent when it marketed its cancer drug Abraxane.
The ruling upholds a 2013 decision by Judge Richard Stearns in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in favor of Celgene in Cephalon, Inc. v. Celgene Corp.
Acusphere and its exclusive licensee, Cephalon, sued Celgene in 2011, claiming infringement of their ’493 patent by Celgene’s Abraxane, which contains a fast-dissolving form of paclitaxel.
The plaintiffs argued the patent requires a matrix of nanoparticles and microparticles and said the inventors of the patent defined both as having a diameter between 0.01 and 5 micrometers. They also maintained that there is no universally agreed definition of the size of a nanoparticle.
Judge Stearns disagreed, saying the definition of nanoparticles as having a mean diameter of between about 1 and 1,000 nanometers and microparticles as being between 1 and 1,000 microns is “widely accepted.”
The appeals court agreed, ruling that a definition need not be universally accepted to form a proper basis for patent claims.
Teva, which owns Cephalon, declined to say if it will appeal. Celgene could not be reached for comment by press time. — Jonathon Shacat