A federal jury in Delaware has ordered a unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. to pay Bayer HealthCare LLC $155 million in damages for infringing a patent related to Bayer’s hemophilia treatment.
According to court records, the Wilmington jury in its Feb. 5 verdict rejected Baxalta’s arguments that Bayer’s patent was invalid after six days of trial in the case, which was filed in December 2016, when Baxalta was still owned by Irish biopharmacuetical firm Shire. The jury applied a 17.7 percent royalty rate to a base of nearly $873 million to reach its total damage award.
Japan’s Takeda, which announced its $62 billion purchase of Shire last year, is now on the hook for the verdict. Through a spokeswoman, the company said Takeda was “disappointed by the jury’s decision” and would consider “all our legal options” moving forward.
“As a company, we are committed to developing and commercializing products with the best interest of patients in mind, and without violating the intellectual property rights of third parties,” the company said. “Takeda has a history of serving the Hemophilia community and will continue to work diligently to ensure that the needs of patients are, and will continue to be, met.”
The verdict was a win for Bayer, a German firm with North American headquarters in New Jersey, and its Sidley Austin attorneys, who had accused Baxalta in late 2016 of infringing its so-called ’520 patent for treating Hemophilia A, a rare disorder that can prevent blood from clotting in infants and adults.
Bayer said that the infringement stemmed from Baxalta’s partnership with Nektar Therapeutics, a San Francisco-based company that had briefly done research with Bayer and knew about its patent through previous drug applications and litigation in Germany. According to the complaint, Nektar later partnered with Baxalta on Adynovate, its flagship hemophilia treatment, and “knew or should have known” that the drug infringed Bayer’s patent.
U.S. Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware dismissed Nektar from the suit but allowed the bulk of Bayer’s case to proceed in 2017. Last August, he denied Baxalta’s motion for summary judgment, cuing up the case for trial from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4.
The jury on Feb. 5 returned its verdict and rejected Baxalta’s arguments that four claims of the ’520 patent were invalid for obviousness or enablement.
Attorneys for Bayer declined to comment after the verdict, saying they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case. A company spokesman said Bayer was “pleased with the jury’s verdict, which confirms the strength of Bayer’s innovation in hemophilia treatment.”
Bayer was represented by Jim Badke, Sona De, Ching-Lee Fukuda, Caroline Bercier and Julie Hsia of Sidley Austin in New York; Kevin O’Brien, Sue Wang and Saurabh Prabhakar of the firm’s San Francisco office; Gwen Hochman Stewart and Grace L.W. St. Vincent in Chicago and Lauren Cranford Katzeff in Washington, D.C. Rodger D. Smith II and Michael J. Flynn of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell acted as Delaware counsel.
Baxalta was represented by Edgar H. Haug, Angus Chen, Porter F. Fleming, Richard F. Kurz and Erika V. Selli of Haug Partners in New York and Frederick L. Cottrell, Kelly E. Farnan and Nicole K. Pedi of Richards, Layton & Finger in Wilmington.
The case is captioned Bayer Healthcare v. Baxalta.