Amarin Corp PLC (NASDAQ: AMRN) dropped 5.24% after the Supreme Court rejected efforts by its subsidiary to revive Vascepa patents in a legal suit against drug makers Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC.
Supreme Court declines to hear Amarin’s patent appeal
Supreme Court justices turned down Amarin Pharma’s appeal that had affirmed that heart diseases drug Vascepa’s patents were unacceptable after a challenge by Dr. Reddy’s and Hikma. The lower court had established that Amarin’s patents were not valid as “obvious” as per “prior art,” implying that initial publications had disclosed the innovations.
A decision that invalidated the patents on Vascepa last year cost Amarin almost 70% of its stock. Vascepa, an omega-3 oil, reduces fat levels in the bloodstream of patients. In 2016, Amarin filed a lawsuit in Las Vegas against Hikma and India’s Dr. Reddy’s stating that their proposed generic versions of the medication will infringe on six of Amarin’s patents.
In March 2020, Nevada US district Judge Miranda DU issued a ruling stating that the patents were unenforceable and obvious, citing earlier publications that include reference to omega—3 drugs that had disclosed the patents’ innovations. This decision opened the opportunity for Vascepa’s generic versions.
Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision on Vascepa patents.
In September, a US Court of Appeal specializing in patents affirmed the Federal Circuit’s decision with Hikma launching a generic version of Vascepa in November last year. In February this year, the company told the supreme court that Du didn’t consider secondary indications regarding the patents not being obvious, including the commercial success of Vascepa and the long-standing need for a severe hypertriglyceridemia treatment. Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition where there are high amounts of a particular type of fat called triglycerides in the blood.
Hikma opposed hearing the appeal by the Supreme Court, stating that Amarin depended on previous art studies in the development of Vascepa.