Forward Pharma Faces Uphill Struggle Appealing Biogen's Tecfidera PTAB Win
Forward Pharma is suspending all FP187 development pending the outcome of its legal interference appeal against Biogen – but analysts see little prospect of it overturning last month's decision that effectively allows Biogen's dimethyl fumarate-based drug Tecfidera to stay on the market with its own patent.
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Biopharma financing decreased by 29% in the first quarter of 2017; conversely, M&As set a record, reaching $61.9 billion. The largest alliance of the quarter involved the microbiome.
Biogen's new CEO Michel Vounatsos has begun his tenure by taking out a $1.25bn "insurance policy" on MS drug Tecfidera by licensing Forward Pharma's patent portfolio, but the cost of the deal could spiral if the Danish firm wins a series of ongoing patent disputes with Biogen concerning Tecfidera and Forward Pharma's MS drug candidate FP187.
$1.25bn settlement with Forward ensures Biogen will retain its MS product, but firm could end up paying more, depending on how courts come down on question of who filed first; as a practical matter Forward filed its US patent application for dimethyl fumarate first, but Biogen contends it began developing the active ingredient first, making it the effective first filer.