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Kaye Scholer Helps Acorda Thwart IPR Challenge to MS Drug Patents

August 25, 2015

Kaye Scholer represented client Acorda Therapeutics in»  Legal team recognized as a Legal Lion in Law360's Weekly Verdict column.  thwarting a challenge to patents covering the multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra® mounted by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass through an entity he formed called the Coalition for Affordable Drugs LLC. In a first-of-its-kind decision, on August 24, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rejected two inter partes review (IPR) petitions filed in February by Bass and the Coalition.

The petitions argued that two Acorda patents were invalid as obvious in light of two presentation posters that the petitions argued were prior art. In denying institution of IPR, the PTAB agreed with Acorda that the petitioner had failed to establish that the posters are prior art and that, as a result, the petitioner had failed to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that it would prevail on at least one of the patent claims.

“We’re extremely pleased with the PTAB’s decision, which further strengthens our client’s patent portfolio regarding a successful drug that is important to many multiple sclerosis patients,” said Intellectual Property Department co-chair Aaron Stiefel, one of the leaders of Kaye Scholer’s Acorda team. Acorda was the first target of Bass who has since filed a series of IPR petitions challenging patents owned by a host of pharma companies.

Kaye Scholer handled this IPR as co-counsel together with Paul Hastings. The Kaye Scholer effort was also led by litigation partners Daniel DiNapoli in our New York office and Sylvia Becker in DC and by counsel Soumitra (Sam) Deka in NY.

Kaye Scholer is also representing Acorda in separate ANDA cases involving the same patents. Acorda, which developed and markets Ampyra to improve walking in multiple sclerosis patients, is suing multiple generic drug manufacturers in the US District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington), on the grounds that they are seeking FDA approval to sell generic versions of Ampyra before patents covering the product expire.

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