One-nil to the pharma industry in Kyle Bass case

In a decision made yesterday by the USPTO, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass has been denied the right to challenge a large pharmaceutical organisation over two patents related to neurological treatments.

The board claimed the points being used to challenge Acorda's patents did not have enough backing evidence and had not been public knowledge, so they could not be used to invalidate the patents.

The challenges, put forward by the Coalition for Affordable Drug Prices, an organisation set up by Kyle Bass, argued that the two patents were too general and should not qualify for IP protection because they are simply a combination of already existing public knowledge relating to the recommended dosage and ingredients.

It is not the first filing by the coalition, who have filed more than 20 challenges against pharmaceutical organisations' patents. Although Bass's processes may seem brash to some, he believes the reason for the increasing prices of drugs within the US pharmaceutical industry is down to the wrong patents being granted IP protection.

The drug in question within the patents is Amorya. It is used to aid patients living with multiple sclerosis to have a better quality of life, and assists with their walking. Acorda's patent covers a dosage which ensures the drug works in the most effective manner.

Although this specific effort made by Kyle Bass to utilize the patent review process has been denied, there is still little clarity as to whether the patents appeals board will consider similar challenges from other hedge funds. Each filing is case specific, so a universal ruling might be tricky to enforce.

In their response however, Acorda argued that due to the complexity of neurological diseases, symptoms can change from patient to patient, and therefore their teams had to work very hard to come up with something that helps a large group of patients, all with varying symptoms. Although there is 'background information' within the field, they had to create something universal for a very personal disease, arguing that no two patients are the same.

Gerald Flattmann who represented Acardo during the challenge explained, "We're extremely gratified by the patent office's decision."

Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology organisation which specialises in developing therapies to restore bodily functions and improve the lives of people living with neurological diseases. They currently market three FDA approved therapies and are one of the frontrunners in the industry of neurological therapies.

This final decision by the PTO cannot be appealed.

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