The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that the majority of the batches of an accused biosimilar manufactured by Hospira were not protected by the Safe Harbor exemption of § 271(e)(1), and that patent infringement damages were not unreasonable, notwithstanding that none of the accused product had been sold. Amgen Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., Case Nos. 19-1067; -1102 (Fed. Cir., Dec. 16, 2019)(Moore, J.).
EPO is a glycoprotein that regulates red blood cell development. Recombinant versions of EPO are used to treat anemia. One example is Amgen’s product Epogen. In 2014, Hospira submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting approval for its EPO biosimilar. Amgen then sued Hospira for infringement of its patent directed to methods of producing EPO isoforms and its patent directed to recombinant cells producing EPO at certain rates. Specifically, Amgen asserted that 21 pre-approval batches of EPO manufactured by Hospira infringed various claims of these patents.