FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 Patent Claims Wiped Out by PTAB

March 25, 2019

In a victory for Merck, the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidated one of Pfizer’s patents for the company’s best-selling drug, the pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13.

PTAB began an inter partes review of the patent in March 2018 in which Merck argued that a number of claims in Pfizer’s patent (9,492,559 B2) for the vaccine were unpatentable because they were “obvious” and similar to work done by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

The review board agreed with Merck’s arguments, ruling that the patent claims were obvious because of “prior art.” The board noted that a claim is unpatentable if “the subject matter, as a whole, would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art.”

The decision is another blow for Pfizer, which saw claims of a separate Prevnar 13 patent invalidated following several inter partes reviews in 2017.

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