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November 28, 2011
Amgen's New Patent: Explanations, Anyone?
Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of the biomolecule patent world can answer this one for me: just how did Amgen suddenly carve out a whole new patent lifetime for Enbrel? This is US patent 8,063,182, and it's hard for me to unravel what the new parts are or how and why this got issued. Merck and others who have been eyeing biosimilars in this area have no doubt already formulated their legal challenges to it. But what's that line of attack going to be?
Update: explanation in the comments. This application was filed in 1995 and had a long, long history at the patent office before finally being granted. Now, of course, the thing runs for 17 years from date of issue. The law has since been changed to keep this exact sort of thing from happening, with a term of 20 years from the application date. But Amgen applied under the old rules, and gets to live by them. I'm still wondering what the difference is between this patent and the others on Enbrel, though. . .
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