15 April 2015Americas

PTAB instigates interference on Biogen multiple sclerosis treatment

The US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has instigated an interference proceeding between Biogen and Forward Pharma to determine who first invented a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).

An interference proceeding, referred by an examiner, is an administrative process carried out by a panel of patent judges to determine which applicant is entitled to a patent if both parties have claimed the same invention.

Massachusetts-based Biogen and Danish company Forward Pharma have each filed US patents to protect a method for treating MS with daily doses of dimethyl fumarate (DMF) in quantities including 480mg.

Forward Pharma had made its patent application in 2005, which claims priority to 2004.

The patent application relates to Forward Pharma’s lead drug candidate FP187, which will treat immune disorders that include MS and psoriasis but is still being tested.

Forward Pharma has two further US patent applications, three European patent applications and a German utility model that include claims covering methods for treating MS with 480mg of DMF every day.

Biogen filed to protect the method in 2012, claiming priority to 2007. It received its patent (US number 8,399,514), called “treatment for multiple sclerosis”, in 2013.

In the same year the US Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen’s drug Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), a treatment for relapsing remitting MS. In 2014, the drug made worldwide sales of $2.9 billion.

Peder Andersen, Forward Pharma’s chief executive said: “This is a key step in advancing our IP in the US covering the use of 480mg per day of DMF in the US.

“We look forward to the start of the interference proceeding and additional progress with our five other pending application in the US and in Europe.”

Biogen did not respond to a request for comment.

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