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26 May 2017Americas

Biogen asks district court to dismiss competition complaint by Ixchel

Biogen has asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of California to dismiss a competition complaint filed by biotech company Ixchel Pharma.

According to Ixchel, Biogen engaged in anti-competitive action to “suppress the creation” of a new treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia, a neurodegenerative disorder.

Ixchel said in its complaint, filed in April this year, that Biogen cared more about “preserving its lucrative monopoly on dimethyl fumerate drugs than it does for the suffering of Americans with Friedreich’s ataxia”.

In 2016, Ixchel entered into a collaboration agreement with Forward Pharma, a Denmark-based company.

In this collaboration, Ixchel agreed to assign certain patent rights that it owned relating to dimethyl fumerate to Forward.

In the agreement, Forward would be responsible for managing the manufacture and commercialisation of the drug, while Ixchel would be entitled to receive a percentage royalty on sales of the approved drug.

Forward, Biogen, and Ixchel are competitors in the market for drugs containing dimethyl fumerate.

At the same time that Ixchel and Forward were working together, Forward was involved in a patent dispute with Biogen.

According to the complaint, Forward was secretly negotiating a deal with Biogen that would settle the patent dispute between the two companies.

This negotiation would allegedly take Forward out of the dimethyl fumerate drug market permanently and protect Biogen’s market dominance.

Forward agreed with Biogen that it would terminate the relationship with Ixchel and entered into a settlement agreement under which Biogen agreed to pay Forward $1.25 million in cash.

According to Ixchel, the company has been unable to find a new development partner for the new dimethyl fumerate drug.

Ixchel said: “Biogen’s unlawful and anti-competitive acts have therefore caused a significant delay in Ixchel’s development and commercialisation of the new DMF drug.”

The suing company added: “As a result of Forward’s breach of the collaboration agreement … Ixchel has also suffered financial harm in terms of lost revenue that Ixchel would have received from Forward under the royalty-sharing provision of the collaboration agreement for sales of the new dimethyl fumerate drug.”

Biogen filed the motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday, May 24.

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19 January 2017   Biogen and Forward Pharma, a Denmark-based company, have entered into a settlement and licensing agreement under which Biogen will pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion.
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18 March 2021   A proposed Teva Pharmaceutical generic drug to treat multiple sclerosis infringes patents relating to Vumerity, according to a lawsuit filed by Biogen and Alkermes.

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Americas
19 January 2017   Biogen and Forward Pharma, a Denmark-based company, have entered into a settlement and licensing agreement under which Biogen will pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion.
Americas
18 March 2021   A proposed Teva Pharmaceutical generic drug to treat multiple sclerosis infringes patents relating to Vumerity, according to a lawsuit filed by Biogen and Alkermes.

More on this story

Americas
19 January 2017   Biogen and Forward Pharma, a Denmark-based company, have entered into a settlement and licensing agreement under which Biogen will pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion.
Americas
18 March 2021   A proposed Teva Pharmaceutical generic drug to treat multiple sclerosis infringes patents relating to Vumerity, according to a lawsuit filed by Biogen and Alkermes.