Celltrion clears final Inflectra patent hurdle

Marian Chu  Published 2018.08.01  15:12  Updated 2018.08.01 15:12


Celltrion won the last patent battle for its biologic drug Inflectra (infliximab) against Janssen’s original Remicade (infliximab), clearing the path for brisk sales in the U.S., a company official said Wednesday.

The U.S. District Court of Massachusetts Monday ruled in favor of Celltrion, saying that the Korean biopharmaceutical did not infringe on Janssen’s patent on cell culture media for use in growing antibody-producing cells.

A Celltrion official noted that the ruling would help its partner Pfizer, which markets and sells Inflectra in the U.S., to carry out sales activities for the drug launched in November 2016.

“We were sure of winning the patent suit,” a Celltrion official said. “Through this ruling, all barriers have been removed, allowing Pfizer to carry out marketing activities with confidence.”

Celltrion invalidated Janssen’s composition-of-matter patent for Inflectra from the U.S. Court of Appeals for patent US6,284,471 in January.

Infliximab, known as Remsima in Europe and Inflectra in the U.S., is a chimeric monoclonal antibody biologic drug that is used to treat autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.

The therapy sold $108 million in the U.S. last year, according to local data. The monthly sales of the drug have been exceeding $10 million since August while J&J’s Remicade sales dropped 8.5 percent to $1.07 billion in the fourth quarter year-on-year, compared with $1.17 billion a year earlier.

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