Topic: Pharmaceuticals and life sciences

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Data protection upheld for subsequently approved combination drugs containing new chemical entities: Federal Court finds Minister of Health’s decision to deny generic ANDS filing is reasonable

Summary

On July 24, 2020, the Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review brought by Natco Pharma (Canada) Inc. (Natco) in respect of a July 26, 2019 decision (Decision) by the Minister of Health (Minister).  The Decision refused to accept Natco’s ANDS filing using Gilead Sciences Canada Inc.’s (Gilead) product DESCOVY as the Canadian Reference Product.  DESCOVY contains a combination of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) hemifumarate and emtricitabine.  The Minister determined that TAF is a new chemical entity first approved in another Gilead drug product GENVOYA.  GENVOYA is a designated … Continue Reading

Federal Court finds Minister’s CSP decision unreasonable on patent eligibility for fixed-dose combination drug product

On July 10, 2020, the Federal Court issued a decision in a judicial review under the Certificate of Supplementary Protection Regulations (CSP Regulations). The application was brought by ViiV Healthcare ULC (ViiV) regarding a decision by the Minister of Health (Minister) refusing to issue a CSP in respect of Canadian Patent No. 2,606,282 (282 Patent) and the drug JULUCA® (Decision).

The Federal Court determined that the Decision was unreasonable, including for failing to interpret the CSP regime in a manner consistent with the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade … Continue Reading

PMPRB takes jurisdiction over medicine (again) following Federal Court of Appeal remand

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB or Board) has found that a patent can pertain to a medicine based on clinical similarities to the invention—even if the patent does not actually encompass the medicine.

Background

This case concerns Canadian Patent No. 2,478,237 (the 237 Patent), which relates to the use of adapalene to treat dermatological disorders. The patentee, Galderma Canada Inc. (Galderma), markets two adapalene products in Canada:

  • Differin®, which contains 0.1% adapalene (DIFFERIN).
  • Differin XPTM, which contains a higher concentration of adapalene: 0.3% (DIFFERIN XP).
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PMPRB launches consultation on revised Draft Guidelines

On June 19, 2020, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) launched its consultation on revised Draft Guidelines to implement the amended Patented Medicines Regulations. The revised Guidelines outline new price tests for existing and new patented medicines, as well as a revised risk-based system for reporting and investigations. They will be available for public comment until July 20, 2020.

Background

Amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations are scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2021. These amendments are intended to lower the prices of patented medicines in Canada. They include: (1) new factors for … Continue Reading

Federal Court determines that infringement action under PM(NOC) Regulations is not moot where trial proceeds after patent expiry

On May 22, 2020, the Federal Court granted a motion seeking an order that the issue of infringement in an action brought pursuant to section 6 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations) would not be moot notwithstanding that the trial was set to proceed after the expiry of the relevant patent.

Background

Sandoz served a Notice of Allegation on AstraZeneca alleging non-infringement, invalidity and ineligibility for listing of AstraZeneca’s patent for saxagliptin tablets (marketed as ONGLYZA), being Canadian Patent No. 2,402,894 (894 Patent). AstraZeneca commenced an action against Sandoz seeking a declaration that … Continue Reading

PMPRB update: Amendments delayed, new Guidelines consultation announced, and judicial review heard

This week has seen a number of developments relating to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), including a six-month delay to the implementation of amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations and renewed consultation by the Board on revised Draft Guidelines to implement those amendments. Meanwhile, the Federal Court is now considering a judicial review of those amendments.

Amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations delayed

The federal government has delayed the implementation of the Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations (Additional Factors and Information Reporting Requirements), which are now scheduled to come into force on January 1, Continue Reading

Two PM(NOC) Actions Dismissed After Common Trial on Validity of Treatment Regimen Patent

The Federal Court has dismissed two infringement actions brought against defendants under subsection 6(1) of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations), following a common trial on the validity of Canadian Patent No. 2,562,277 (277 Patent). The Court found that all the asserted claims – to uses for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) – were obvious and that some were anticipated. This is the third decision on the merits of an action under the Regulations since they were amended in September 2017. We previously reported on the first and second trial judgments.

The actions. Continue Reading

Federal Court supports virtual trials for intellectual property actions

The Federal Court of Canada has embraced virtual hearings as the best solution to the prolonged Covid-19 shutdown. While acknowledging some litigants’ concerns pertaining to procedural fairness and information security in recent rulings, the Court is more concerned that justice delayed can become justice denied.

Videoconferencing will not impede the Court’s ability to assess the credibility of witnesses

The unprecedented suspensions following Covid-19 saw some litigants facing lengthy suspensions mid-way through trial. In Rovi Guides, Inc. v Videotron Ltd., one party argued that it would be unfair to require some witnesses to testify remotely after other witnesses had testified … Continue Reading

Dosing regimen patent found valid and infringed in the second decision under the new PM(NOC) Regulations

In the second trial judgment under the new Patented Medicine (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, the Federal Court (FC) found for the Plaintiffs, Janssen Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., and enjoined Teva Canada Limited (Teva) from making, constructing, using or selling paliperidone palmitate (paliperidone) in accordance with its abbreviated new drug submission. The Court rejected Teva’s argument that the claimed dosing regimens were obvious, as well as its arguments against direct infringement of certain of the claims.

Background

Paliperidone is marketed in Canada as INVEGA SUSTENNA and is used to treat schizophrenia and related … Continue Reading

FCA gives guidance for common PM(NOC) trials involving multiple actions

The Federal Court of Appeal has reversed the Federal Court’s decision to add two additional generic defendants (Taro Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sandoz Canada Inc.) to an upcoming common trial under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. The common trial will determine patent validity issues in Bayer Inc.’s actions against Teva Canada limited and Apotex Inc. concerning generic versions of XARELTO® (rivaroxaban).

Background

This is an appeal by Teva and Apotex from a decision of the Federal Court allowing Taro and Sandoz to join Teva and Apotex in a trial of common validity issues. As we reported, the … Continue Reading

Health Canada amends regulations to permit distribution of OTC and NHP samples to general public

Health Canada has finalized amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and Natural Health Product Regulations (NHPR) to allow for the distribution of samples of non-prescription drugs (NPDs, or “over-the-counter” (OTC) drugs) and natural health products (NHPs) to a larger scope of healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Previously, the distribution of these products was limited to physicians, dentists, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists. The regulatory amendments were made as part of Canada’s obligations under the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the passing of the CUSMA Continue Reading

Update: Expanded Federal Funding for Research and Innovation

As we reported in March, the Federal Government pledged $275 million to research relating to COVID-19. On April 23, 2020, an additional $1.1 billion in funding was announced and includes funding for:

  • Research and Data:
    • $114.9 million for research to accelerate the development, testing, and implementation of medical and social countermeasures to COVID-19. This will be provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
    • $40 million for the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network for COVID-19 viral and host genome sequencing research.
    • $10 million to improve data monitoring coordination of pandemic-related data across the country.
  • Vaccine Development:
    • $600 million to support
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First trial judgment under new PMNOC Regulations declares claims to biologic drug invalid

The Federal Court has released its first trial judgment in an action brought under the new Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. In Amgen Inc v Pfizer Canada ULC, 2020 FC 522, the Court dismissed Amgen’s action and declared certain claims in Canadian Patent No. 1,341,537 (537 Patent) invalid for obviousness. The action related to Pfizer’s filgrastim biosimilar.

Under the new Regulations, which came into force in September 2017, a full action determines the question of whether the marketing of a generic or biosimilar drug would infringe any valid claims of any patents listed … Continue Reading

Health Canada releases Guidance Document addressing the Plain Language Labelling Regulations requirements for non-prescription drug products

Health Canada recently published a new Guidance Document that provides information on how Health Canada interprets and applies the 2014 Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Labelling, Packaging and Brand Names of Drugs for Human Use) (colloquially known as the Plain Language Labelling Regulations or PLL Regulations) for non-prescription (i.e. over-the-counter or OTC) drug products.

The Guidance Document, entitled Questions and Answers: Plain Language Labelling Regulations for Non-prescription Drugs (the Guidance Document), is effective as of April 1, 2020.  It identifies information that will support requirements mandated under the PLL Regulations, and points to other FAQs, … Continue Reading

Health Canada issues Interim Order to address shortages of health products

Health Canada has published an Interim Order Respecting Drugs, Medical Devices and Foods for a Special Dietary Purpose in Relation to COVID-19 (the Interim Order). This Interim Order allows Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to address critical supply issues in an expedited manner when shortages occur. It was signed by the Minister on March 30, 2020.

The Interim Order allows the Minister to permit the exceptional importation and sale of: (1) drugs, including biocide drugs (such as hand sanitizers and disinfectants) but not natural health products (NHPs); (2) medical devices; and (3) foods for … Continue Reading

Quebec maintains drug evaluation activities for listing purposes and launches clinical trials

In this post, the Pharma in Brief team reports on two recent developments in the Quebec regulatory landscape related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Adjustments to submission procedure for applications for listing of innovative drugs and blood products on formulary

On April 6, 2020, Quebec’s Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) issued a notice to drug manufacturers and blood system product manufacturers describing temporary measures implemented recently to avoid processing backlogs for applications for listing on Quebec’s formulary during the COVID-19 crisis. As of March 30, 2020, manufacturers of innovative drugs or blood products can … Continue Reading

Federal Court issues first decision on patent term restoration – Minister’s decision denying certificate of supplementary protection (CSP) is unreasonable

On April 7, 2020, the Federal Court issued a decision in Canada’s first judicial review under the Patent Act and new Certificate of Supplementary Protection Regulations (CSP Regulations). It is the first decision issued under this regime, and also one of the first decisions to apply the Supreme Court of Canada’s new standard of review framework set out in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (Vavilov).

The judicial review application was brought by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. (GSK) in respect of an August 3, 2018 decision (Decision) … Continue Reading

Canada completes domestic ratification of CUSMA

Canada has completed domestic ratification of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA, also referred to as USMCA or new NAFTA). As we reported, Canada introduced Bill C-4 to implement CUSMA on January 29, 2020 and it received royal assent as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act (CUSMA Implementation Act) on March 13, 2020.

No coming-into-force date for CUSMA has been set. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stated: “The Canadian government will continue to work with the United States and Mexican governments to determine an ‘entry into force’ date that is mutually beneficial” and that she … Continue Reading

Ontario introduces formulary changes for generic drugs to mitigate risk of drug shortages

On March 30, 2020, the Ontario government launched two one-day consultations on changes to regulations concerning the listing of generic drug products under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA) and the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act (DIDFA). These consultations end March 31, 2020.

Both changes are said to be needed to help mitigate the risk of drug shortages in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private-label generics eligible for listing

As we previously reported, the Ontario government took steps late last year to permit the listing of private-label generic drugs on the provincial drug … Continue Reading

Coulda, Shoulda, but Not Likely Woulda: Federal Court of Appeal affirms finding that generic would not have used a non-infringing alternative

The Federal Court of Appeal has affirmed the Federal Court’s decision awarding an accounting of profits to ADIR and Servier Canada Inc. (Servier), concluding that Apotex Inc. and Apotex Pharmachem Inc. (Apotex) would not have used a non-infringing alternative (NIA).

Background

In 2008, the Federal Court found that Servier’s patent for the drug perindopril was valid and infringed by Apotex. Apotex’s liability was affirmed on appeal. A trial on an accounting of profits ensued and Apotex was ordered to remit the aggregate amount of C$61 million plus interest. In a first appeal by Apotex, … Continue Reading

New Federal initiatives to combat pandemic: Patent Act amended to allow limited government use of patented inventions for public health emergencies

On March 25, 2020, the Canadian Government passed into law Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, following emergency sittings of Parliament and the Senate. Bill C-13 amends both the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act and may have implications for the pharmaceutical industry.

Patent Act – Limited government use of patented inventions for public health emergencies (s. 19.4)

A new stand-alone provision has been added to the Patent Act: section 19.4. This section allows the Minister of Health to apply for government authorization to make, construct, use, and sell a … Continue Reading

Ontario and Quebec Introduce Changes to Pharmacy Practice and Highlight the Drug Supply Chain as an Essential Service

Changes Affecting Ontario

The Government of Ontario has made changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program in an effort to reduce the risk of drug shortages in the province during the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective immediately, ODB eligible drugs are subject to the following changes to rules on dispensing and fees:

  • The dispensing of medication is limited to no more than a 30-days’ supply. Dispensers may use professional judgment to provide a longer supply in exceptional cases, but should not exceed the patient’s usual supply
  • Prescriptions should not be refilled more than 10 days in advance of a patient depleting
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PM(NOC) Statutory Deadlines Still Applicable

As we reported, the Federal Court (FC) has suspended its hearings scheduled between March 16, 2020 and April 17, 2020 (the Suspension Period) sine die. Proceedings brought in accordance with the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (Regulations) fall under the FC’s jurisdiction. However, certain deadlines related to these proceedings are set by the Regulations themselves. Such ‘statutory’ deadlines are not subject to the FC’s Suspension Period.

As the FC states in its recent FAQ on its COVID-19 Practice Direction and Order, the deadline for commencing a proceeding pursuant to section 6 of the … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Health Canada simplifies regulatory requirements for COVID-19-related products

Health Canada is taking measures to help expedite the importation and sale of certain licensed products required to combat COVID-19.

Expedited review of Health Product Submissions and Applications

Health Canada has announced that it will expedite the review of any COVID-19 related vaccines, therapeutic products and other health product submissions and applications. Until a vaccine or therapeutic product is available on the Canadian market, the Special Access Program will continue to be available for COVID-19 related treatments.

Submissions or applications to Health Canada should be directed to the appropriate bureau using the contact information found on this page.

Diagnostic Continue Reading

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