FDA Commissioner’s Statement on Plans for the Orange Book

O'Quinn_Ryan_Medium.jpg                                    Cyr_Shana_Medium.jpg

By Ryan P. O’Quinn, Ph.D., J.D.[1], and Shana K. Cyr, Ph.D., J.D.[2]

After dropping hints in recent months that he intended to use creative policy efforts to promote competition in the American pharmaceutical industry, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued an official statement on January 30, 2019,[3] setting a policy agenda for the coming year that includes enhancing the utility of the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations Publication, known as the “Orange Book.”

The Commissioner noted “the important benefits of a modern, up-to-date Orange Book” for patients, healthcare providers, and generic drug developers.[4]  To that end, he unveiled “several new steps” that the FDA would be putting in place to ensure that the Orange Book “provides as much utility as possible to aid manufacturers as they allocate resources towards the development of new generic drug products.”[5]

I. January 2019 Draft Guidance

The first of these Orange Book-related actions is new draft guidance from the FDA, entitled “Marketing Status Notifications Under Section 506I of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Content and Format.”[6]  This January 2019 draft guidance stemmed from the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, or FDARA, which required NDA and ANDA holders for the first time to provide the FDA with (1) written notice 180 days before withdrawing a drug from sale; (2) written notice when an FDA-approved drug would not be available for sale within 180 days of FDA approval; and (3) a one-time report for all NDA and ANDA holders by February 14, 2018, stating whether the holder’s drug(s) in the “active” section of the Orange Book were available for sale, had been withdrawn from sale, or were never available for sale.[7]

The draft guidance provided the FDA’s current thinking on the definition of “withdrawn from sale” for purposes of the FDARA reporting requirements.  Citing a 1989 proposed rule amending the ANDA regulations, the agency described its policy regarding withdrawal as “if the applicant has ceased its own distribution of the drug, whether or not it has ordered recall of previously distributed lots of the drug.  A routine, temporary interruption in the supply of a drug product would not be considered a withdrawal from sale, however, unless triggered by safety or effectiveness concerns.”[8]  Withdrawal is interpreted to include “any decision to discontinue marketing of [that] product,” whether permanent or not.[9]  Notification to the FDA that the product is not being marketed by the NDA or ANDA holder is considered a withdrawal.[10]  The draft guidance also provides preferred formats for the written notifications for withdrawal from sale and unavailability for sale.[11]

The FDA intends to provide enhanced transparency and accuracy in the Orange Book with regard to the drugs for which generic competition is lacking.[12]  For drugs that are no longer truly “active,” they can be moved to the “discontinued” section of the Orange Book, or if removed from sale due to lack of safety or effectiveness, taken out of the Orange Book altogether.[13]  Without these notices, the value of the information Orange Book would decay rather quickly;  the FDA expects to receive approximately 523 withdrawal notices per year, and 30 “unavailable for sale” notices per year under the FDARA reporting requirements.[14]  The FDA also received 10,319 of the mandated one-time reports due in February 2018.[15]

Commissioner Gottlieb also highlighted the importance of the written notices and the updated Orange Book to FDA policymaking, noting that the information “helps us also better understand circumstances where generic medicines are being approved, but not marketed so that we can better consider any policy reasons why this may be occurring.”[16]  This echoed the Commissioner’s remarks on January 8, 2019, at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, CA that “[o]ne of my growing concerns [is] we’re approving a lot of drugs, but not seeing a commensurate number of drugs launched.”[17], [18]  In conjunction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Commissioner Gottlieb stated that the FDA would look at updating the Orange Book so that the two agencies could determine “how we can facilitate more generic drug launches, not just approvals.”[19]

II. Two More Expected Draft Guidances in 2019

The FDA plans to issue two more Orange Book-related FDA draft guidance in the coming months.  The first expected draft guidance will be directed to industry, and will describe how the FDA evaluates therapeutic equivalence and assigns therapeutic equivalence codes, which appear in the Orange Book for a given drug product.[20]  According to the Commissioner, the intended draft guidance will “increase transparency” around the agency’s policies concerning requests for therapeutic equivalence, including those via the 505(b)(2) pathway.[21]  The Statement hints that “the agency is developing policy for how manufacturers can acquire a therapeutic equivalence rating to allow for full substitutability” for products developed via the 505(b)(2) pathway, and that this could provide more competition for “harder-to-copy complex drugs.”[22]

The second expected future draft guidance sounds like it will be a resource for applicants and approved application holders from the FDA on how to use the Orange Book, including answers to “commonly asked questions.”[23]

III.  Expected Request for Public Comments

In addition, the FDA will solicit public comments on the Orange Book, how it is used, and how it can be improved, including input on which patents should be listed for a given drug product.[24]  The Commissioner specifically identified products that have been approved in conjunction with a digital application, such as a mobile app or other software product, stating that the FDA will seek public comments on whether patents involving these applications should be listed in the Orange Book for the associated drug products.[25]  According to the Commissioner, “listing such patents could help generic developers to assess all intellectual property assertions related to the product that could potentially block generic entry and determine its approach to these patents.”[26]  In turn, this listing “could allow generic competitors to better assess which products they choose to develop and provide better clarity as to the path to market.”[27]

The Commissioner’s statement closes with a reinforcement of the FDA’s stated goal of “enhanced competition,” and confirms that these Orange Book initiatives are only the beginning of a series of transparency-related initiatives relating to drug policy over the next year.  Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry should monitor these developments and seek legal counsel as appropriate.

[1] Dr. O’Quinn is an associate in the Reston, Virginia office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

[2] Dr. Cyr is a partner in the Reston, Virginia office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

[3] Scott Gottlieb, M.D., “Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the agency’s efforts to enhance the utility of the Orange Book to foster drug competition,” Jan. 30, 2019, (“Statement”), available at https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm630098.htm.

[4] Statement, supra note 3.

[5] Id.

[6] “Marketing Status Notifications Under Section 506I of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Content and Format,” Draft Guidance for Industry (January 2019) (“Draft Guidance”), available at https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM630099.pdf


[7] See Statement, supra note 3; see also Draft Guidance, supra note 6, at 2:56-68; FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, codified in relevant part at 21 U.S.C. § 356i (2018).

[8] Draft Guidance, supra note 6, at 3:73-80 (quoting “Abbreviated New Drug Application Regulations,” proposed rule, 54 Fed. Reg. 28872, 28907 (July 10, 1989)).

[9] Id. at 3:70-72 (quoting “Abbreviated New Drug Application Regulations,” final rule, 57 Fed. Reg. 17950,17956 (Apr. 28, 1992) (alteration in original)).

[10] Id. at 3:82-83 (citing Orange Book Preface (38th ed., 2018) at xxiv).

[11] Id. 3:96 – 5:143.

[12] Statement, supra note 3.

[13] See Draft Guidance, supra note 6, at 3:85-90.

[14] Marketing Status Notifications Under Section 506I of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Content and Format; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability, 84 Fed. Reg. 749, 751-52 (Jan. 31, 2019).

[15] Id.

[16] Statement, supra note 3.

[17] https://www.jpmorgan.com/global/healthcareconference

[18] See Alaric DeArment, “In JPM interview, Gottlieb outlines FDA efforts to promote biopharma competition,” MedCity News, Jan. 8, 2019, 5:30 PM, available at https://medcitynews.com/2019/01/in-jpm-interview-gottlieb-outlines-fda-efforts-to-promote-biopharma-competition/?rf=1.

[19] See id.

[20] Statement, supra note 3.

[21] Id.

[22] Id.

[23] Id.

[24] Id.

[25] Id.

[26] Id.

[27] Id.


FDA Responds in Teva Pharmaceuticals Suit Alleging Unlawful Interpretation of “First Applicant” Definition under Hatch-Waxman Act

john hamiltonBy John A. Hamilton [1]

On October 17, 2018, generic drug producer Teva Pharmaceuticals (“Teva”) filed a Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction (“PI Motion”) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Teva alleges that the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) unlawfully changed its policy regarding eligibility for 180-day marketing exclusivity for generic drugs, potentially irreparably harming Teva’s right to such exclusivity for its generic version of Allergan’s Restasis® (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion.) [2] Teva further asserts that it was the first applicant that complied with the Hatch-Waxman Act [3] (“the HWA”) requirements [4] for challenging at least one of the Restasis® patents. [5] FDA responded on November 2, 2018, with a Motion to Dismiss and supporting Memo also opposing Teva’s PI Motion.

Under the HWA, an abbreviated new drug application (“ANDA”) that “contains a [Paragraph IV] certification and is for a drug for which a first applicant has submitted an application containing such a certification,…shall be made effective on the date that is 180 days after the date of the first commercial marketing of the drug (including the commercial marketing of the listed drug) by any first applicant.” [6] A Paragraph IV filing comprises a certification that any patents listed in the FDA “Orange Book” covering the relevant brand-name drug is invalid, unenforceable, or will not be infringed by the generic drug product. The HWA defines the term “first applicant” to mean an applicant that, [i] on the first day on which a substantially complete application containing a [Paragraph IV certification] is submitted for approval of a drug, [ii] submits a substantially complete application that contains and [iii] lawfully maintains’ the certification for the drug. [7] A “first applicant”, however, can forfeit eligibility for exclusivity if “[a]ll of the patents as to which the applicant submitted a certification qualifying it for the 180-day exclusivity period have expired.” [8]

FDA sought comments on HWA 180-day exclusivity issues relating to Restasis® through a July 2015 “Dear Applicant Letter”. [9] With respect to Restasis®, two patents originally listed in the Orange Book expired in 2009 (U.S. Pat. No. 4,839,342, “the ‘342 patent”) and mid-2014 (U.S. Pat. No. 5,474,979, “the ‘979 patent”), respectively. A third patent (U.S. Pat. No. 8,629,111, “the ‘111 patent”), was listed in January 2014. One or more ANDAs or patent amendments containing Paragraph IV certifications to the ‘979 patent were filed after expiration of the ‘342 patent and before listing of the ‘111 patent, potentially qualifying the sponsor(s) as a “first applicant”. However, the ‘979 patent expired before FDA issued an Acknowledgement Letter to any of such applicants, and before any sponsor had the opportunity to provide notice of the Paragraph IV certification. In light of this fact pattern, FDA sought comment on two issues: (1) was each sponsor of a substantially complete ANDA containing a Paragraph IV certification to the not-yet expired second patent eligible “first applicants”, and (2) whether 180-day exclusivity for Restasis® generics forfeited in May 2014 upon expiration of the ‘979 patent, such that no ANDA applicant is eligible.

In a July 13, 2018, letter decision regarding Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film generics (“the Suboxone Letter”), FDA adopted a 180-day exclusivity eligibility determination approach distinct from the previously applied approach. Under the new rationale, exclusivity for certain strengths of generic Suboxone® was forfeited for all applicants. FDA asserted in the Suboxone Letter that its “First Effective” approach to determining 180-day exclusivity prior to enactment of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act (“the MMA”) that added the “first applicant” definition to the HWA, under which eligibility is found for the first applicant that submits a substantially complete ANDA (amendment or supplement) and makes it “effective” by providing patent notice in a timely manner, is problematic in that a more senior applicant who fails to provide timely notice could lose eligibility if a junior applicant gives notice first. FDA concluded that the “First Effective” approach was inconsistent with the definition of “first applicant” added by the MMA and adopted a new “First Submitted Interpretation” approach. Under the “First Submitted” interpretation, the definition of “first applicant” is read such that element [i] above (the “when” prong) refers to a single specific date on which an application was submitted to qualify its sponsor as a “First Applicant”; whereas the [ii] “submit” and [iii] “lawfully maintain” elements “describe requirements for specific applications submitted on this single fixed date to maintain eligibility for exclusivity. Under this reading of the statute, there can only ever be one “first day on which a substantially complete application containing a paragraph IV certification [or an amendment to a substantially complete application with a paragraph IV certification] is submitted,” regardless of whether the applicant that submits its application (or an amendment or supplement to its application) on that “first day” gives or fails to give timely notice of and/or otherwise lawfully maintains its paragraph IV certification.” [10]

Teva’s Complaint challenges, as the asserted first generic applicant that complied with the HWA’s requirements for challenging at least one of the patents (the ‘111 patent) covering Restasis®, FDA’s revised definition of “first applicant” and ruling depriving Teva of its right to 180-day marketing exclusivity. [11] Teva argues that FDA has violated procedural rules of the Administrative Procedures Act (“the APA”) in two ways. First, it ignores applicants’ “reliance interests” upended by reversing nearly two decades of taking precisely the opposite interpretation to the one announced in the Suboxone Letter. Secondly, it overturned “legislative rules promulgated through the notice-and-comment process without undertaking a new round of notice-and-comment rulemaking.” [12] Teva also argues that FDA’s decision conflicts with the substance of MMA’s text and structure, in that the FDA’s new interpretation writes the requirement to [iii] “lawfully maintain” the Paragraph IV certification out of the HWA.[13] Teva is seeking a declaration that FDA’s Suboxone Letter is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law,” that Teva’s ANDA is entitled to exclusivity, and to bar the FDA from approving any other ANDAs for Restasis® generics. [14]

On November 2, 2018, FDA responded with a Motion to Dismiss and Memo in support thereof and in opposition to Teva’s PI Motion. FDA argues dismissal under Rue 12(b)(1) is proper because Teva has not pleaded facts that would establish standing or ripeness, nor shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. [15] FDA asserts that “Teva has yet to obtain FDA’s approval of its application – or even a “tentative approval” – which is a necessary predicate for Teva’s proposed product to meet the statutory criteria to be eligible for a 180-day exclusivity period” and is, thus “baseless and premature”. [16] FDA suggests that Teva could forfeit eligibility for exclusivity if any of multiple events outlined in the HWA occur, citing failure to obtain tentative ANDA approval within 3o months of filing, and uncertainty that Teva’s successful district court invalidation of the Restasis® patents will survive appeal or that marketing will begin by 75 days after an final invalidity decision. [17] FDA further asserts that the Suboxone Letter interpretation passes muster under the two-step framework established in Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 US 837 (1984) (“Chevron”) and the APA standard of review. FDA argues that the definition of “first applicant”, as amended by the MMA, does not provide for the circumstance in which a Paragraph IV certification is made but notice is not perfected, and thus FDA’s “First Submitted” policy interpretation is not unambiguously foreclosed upon under Chevron step one. [18] With regard to the second step of the Chevron analysis, FDA states that the Suboxone Letter sets forth extensive reasoning and explanation behind FDA’s interpretation that easily passes muster to be granted agency deference. [19]

[1] John Hamilton is a 12-year veteran of the FDA, registered patent attorney and sole proprietor of the Law Office of John A. Hamilton LLC located west of Boston. He concentrates his practice in patent prosecution, IP transactions, and FDA counseling.
[2] Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, October 17, 2018, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:18-cv-02394, at p. 1.
[3] Public Law 98-417.
[4] FDC Act § 505(j)(5)(B)(iv).
[5] Teva Memo, at p. 1.
[6] FDC Act § 505(j)(5)(B)(iv)(I).
[7] FDC Act § 505(j)(5)(B)(iv)(II)(bb).
[8] FDC Act § 505(j)(5)(D)(vi), as amended by the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which also sets forth events under which a “first applicant” would forfeit its eligibility for 180-day exclusivity, the events including (I) Failure to Market, (II) Withdrawal of Application, (III) Amendment of Certification, (IV) Failure to Obtain Tentative Approval, (V) Agreement with Another Applicant, the Listed Drug Holder, or a Patent Owner, and (VI) Expiration of All Patents.
[9] Docket No. FDA-2015-N-2713.
[10] Suboxone Letter, at pp. 9-10.
[11] Teva Memo, at p. 10.
[12] Id., at p. 25.
[13] Id., at p. 31.
[14] Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.’s Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, October 17, 2018, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:18-cv-02394, at p. 4.
[15] FDA Memo, at p. ii.
[16] Id., at pp. 1-2.
[17] Id., at pp. 14-15.
[18] Id., at p. 25.
[19] Id., at p. 26.

AIPLA and Others Submit Comments in Response to FDA’s Notice And Public Hearing on Biologics Competition

Lynn Tyler

By Lynn C. Tyler [1]

In a Federal Register Notice published in late July, the FDA scheduled a public hearing for September 4 and requested comments “on FDA’s approach to enhancing competition and innovation in the biological products marketplace, including by facilitating greater availability of biosimilar and interchangeable products.” Members of our Committee attended the hearing on behalf of AIPLA and submitted draft comments for the Board’s consideration.

Previously, in a letter dated May 24, 2012, AIPLA recommended that FDA publish the date on which a biological product is or was “first licensed under subsection 351(a)” of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and/or the dates that are 4 years or 4 years and 6 months after such date, and the dates that are 12 years or 12 years and 6 months after such date.[2]  AIPLA further recommended that FDA publish the dates of supplementary approvals of products licensed under PHSA § 351(a) that may implicate the anti-evergreening provisions[3] or that may affect whether a biological product licensed prior to the enactment of the BPCIA may serve as a reference product.[4]

While the BPCIA does not mandate such publication, there is precedent in FDA’s publication of expiry dates of exclusivities in the Orange Book.[5]  FDA provides this listing of exclusivity expiry dates, even though the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the FDCA did not mandate such publication.[6]  Likewise, FDA maintains a public, searchable database for approved and licensed products that have Orphan designations, which database includes the “Exclusivity Start Date” for each such product,[7] even though the Orphan Drug Act did not mandate FDA to make such information about exclusivity available.[8]

AIPLA reasoned that publishing such information would improve certainty for both reference product sponsors and subsection (k) applicants alike, and thereby foster investment and innovation.  In addition, where there is disagreement or uncertainty over the exclusivity expiry dates, publication of the date of first licensure or the date exclusivities expire would provide all concerned parties the ability to resolve such disagreement or uncertainty before significant changes in position are made.

Because it had already submitted these substantive comments, in response to the current Notice the Board simply requested an opportunity to comment on any specific proposal that may arise out of the current notice and hearing:

AIPLA requests that before making changes related to the Federal Register Notice and Public Hearing, FDA consider possible implications on intellectual property rights, the patent litigation scheme provided by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), and how that scheme compares with the patent litigation scheme provided by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act).  AIPLA also requests that FDA provide detailed notice of any proposed changes related to the Federal Register Notice and Public Hearing and its reasons for proposing those changes, as well as opportunity for meaningful comment from AIPLA and other stakeholders.  Furthermore, taking into account the existing legislations, AIPLA further requests that the FDA undertake an analysis of the implications on intellectual property of any proposed changes that the FDA might implement, and publish the results for further public comments.

AIPLA’s 2012 comments were adopted as the Purple Book includes the date a biosimilar or biologic was licensed and whether FDA evaluated the biological product for reference product exclusivity. It also includes whether a biological product has been determined by FDA to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with a reference product.

Other parties also submitted comments in response to the most recent notice. With respect to  exclusivity determinations, one party noted that FDA has yet to make an exclusivity determination for over 97 percent of products listed in the Purple Book that are eligible for exclusivity. Moreover as of August, FDA has listed first-licensure and exclusivity end dates for just five products.

Another comments suggested that FDA should update the Purple Book to clarify which products have been determined not to have exclusivity and those for which a decision is pending.

Another comment recommended the inclusion of approved indications for each biosimilar listed. The thrust of the comment was that, in cases where a biosimilar is not approved for all the same indications as the reference product, the specific indications for which it is approved should be listed to avoid any confusion.

Competing comments were submitted regarding whether or not the Purple Book should state when biosimilars have not been designated an interchangeable.

Interested parties should continue to monitor potential FDA actions related to this Notice and consider submitting their own comments and/or working through our Committee to have comments submitted on behalf of AIPLA.

[1]  Lynn C. Tyler is a partner and registered patent attorney in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property litigation and FDA counseling. He is the chair of AIPLA’s Food and Drug Law Committee.

[2] See 42 U.S.C. §§ 262 (k)(7) and (m)(3).

[3] 42 U.S.C. § 262(k)(7)(C).

[4] Citizen Petition filed by Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of Abbott Laboratories, FDA Docket No. FDA2012-P-0317, April 2, 2012.

[5] Orange Book: Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, which is available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/default.cfm.

[6] See, e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 355(b)(1)(A).

[7] Available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/opdlisting/oopd/index.cfm.

[8] See, e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 360aa.

District Court Holds on Summary Judgment that § 271(e)(1)’s Exemption from Patent Infringement Covers Use After End of Clinical Trial

By Lynn C. Tyler[1]

Lynn Tyler

Since 1984, § 271(e)(1) of the Patent Act has provided an exemption from patent infringement as follows:

It shall not be an act of infringement to make, use, offer to sell, or sell within the United States or import into the United States a patented invention … solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information under a Federal law which regulates the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs or veterinary biological products.


35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) (2010).

In Merck KGAA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd., 545 U.S. 193 (2005), the court gave § 271(e)(1) a broad reading when it unanimously held that the exemption covered “uses of patented inventions in preclinical research, the results of which are not ultimately included in a submission to the” FDA. 545 U.S. at 195. The Court concluded that “the use of patented compounds in preclinical studies is protected under § 271(e)(1) as long as there is a reasonable basis for believing that the experiments will produce ‘the types of information that are relevant to an IND or NDA.’” Id. at 208 (quoting Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae).

More recently, the Northern District of California followed the Supreme Court’s lead in giving § 271(e)(1) a broad reading. In Nevro Corp. v. Boston Scientific Corp., Case No. 16-cv-06830-VC, slip op. (N.D. Cal. July 24, 2018), the Court entered summary judgment of non-infringement of three patents asserted by Nevro against two Boston Scientific spinal cord stimulators, the Spectra WaveWriter and the Precision with MultiWave systems. The issue was whether use of the stimulators by trial participants after their participation had ended fell within the exemption. In a single paragraph, the Court found that it did:

The use of the Spectra WaveWriter and the Precision with MultiWave systems in patients that have participated in the ACCELLERATE trial fits within the safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e), even after the patients have completed their participation in the trial. This use is “reasonably related to the development and submission of information” to the FDA for device approval. The FDA specifically approved a trial plan that allowed participants to continue to receive treatment after results were collected. Dkt. No. 358-48, Wang Decl. Ex. 42 at BSCNVRO_00019250-51. And international standards for medical research require trial sponsors allow participants to access studied treatments even after the trial’s conclusion. Dkt. No. 358-49, Wang Decl. Ex. 43, World Medical Association, Helsinki Decl.: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects ¶ 34 (2013) [https://perma.cc/7XYQ-M6R9].

Id. at 8 (emphasis added).

Those who like this decision might wish that the court had discussed the parties’ arguments more and it reasons (beyond those stated, if any) for accepting and rejecting them. A more extended discussion might have made it more likely that other courts will reach the same conclusion if the issue comes up again. Further, it would be nice to know how much weight the court gave to the fact that “the FDA specifically approved a trial plan that allowed participants to continue to receive treatment after results were collected.” Id. It seems unlikely that the Helsinki Declaration will change any time soon on this point, so that factor will always be present. For the moment at least, it is an open question whether that alone, or perhaps coupled with the “reasonably related” language of § 271(e)(1), will lead courts to the same conclusion.

Further guidance on the issue may come within a year because Nevro recently appealed the district court’s decision to the Federal Circuit. It is not yet known what issues Nevro will raise on appeal, although this ruling on the scope of § 271(e)(1) seems likely to be one of them. It also remains to be seen how much discussion, if any, the Federal Circuit will devote to the issue. The Federal Circuit case number is 18-2220.

[1] Lynn C. Tyler is a partner and registered patent attorney in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property litigation and FDA counseling. He is currently the chair of AIPLA’s Food and Drug Committee.


Weingarten_David                Cyr_Shana

By M. David Weingarten, Ph.D. [1] and Shana K. Cyr, Ph.D. [2]

On July 6, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance to assist applicants in writing the Indications and Usage section of labeling for human prescription drug and biological products, “Indications and Usage Section of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products—Content and Format,” Draft Guidance for Industry (July 2018). https://www.fda.gov/ucm/groups/fdagov-public/@fdagov-drugs-gen/documents/document/ucm612697.pdf (“Draft Guidance”) at 1.  FDA’s recommendations in the Draft Guidance are intended to help ensure that the Indications and Usage section of labeling is “clear, concise, useful, and informative and, to the extent possible, consistent within and across drug and therapeutic classes.” Draft Guidance at 2.  The Draft Guidance supplements FDA’s labeling rules and guidances. See, e.g., “Requirements on Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products,” 71 Fed. Reg. 3922 (Jan. 24, 2006).
First, the Draft Guidance provides general principles to consider when drafting the Indications and Usage section of labeling. Draft Guidance at 2-6.  According to FDA, “[t]he primary role of the Indications and Usage section … is to enable health care practitioners to readily identify appropriate therapies for patients by clearly communicating the drug’s approved indication(s).” Id. at 2. “Other sections of labeling (e.g., Dosage and Administration, Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions, Use in Specific Populations) … also provide essential details that enable safe and effective use of a drug, and labeling should be considered in its entirety for individual prescribing decisions.” Id. FDA cautions, however, that “[i]ndications or uses must not be implied or suggested in other sections of the labeling if not included” in the Indications and Usage section. Id. at 3 (quoting 21 C.F.R. § 201.57(c)(2)(iv), (v)). Additionally, FDA may require a specific warning in the Warnings and Precautions section of the labeling to address unapproved uses “if the drug is commonly prescribed for a disease or condition and if such usage is associated with a clinically significant risk or hazard.” Id. (citing 21 C.F.R. § 201.57(c)(6)(i)).
Second, the Draft Guidance discusses what information to include in the Indications and Usage section. Id. at 6-14. According to FDA, the section “must state that the drug is indicated for the treatment, prevention, mitigation, cure, or diagnosis of a recognized disease or condition, or of a manifestation of a recognized disease or condition, or for relief of symptoms associated with a recognized disease or condition.” Id. at 8 (quoting 21 C.F.R. § 201.57(c)(2)). The disease, condition, or manifestation should be referred to using high-level, clinically relevant terms that are well understood and easily recognized by health care practitioners. Id. Additionally, other information necessary to describe the approved indication, when applicable, should be identified. Id. at 7, 8-9. For example, descriptors or qualifiers of the population to be treated, such as approved age groups, patients previously treated with other therapies, or patients with a certain classification of the disease, may be important to include. Id. at 7, 8. The Indications and Usage section may also provide information about adjunctive or concomitant therapy, or specific tests needed for patient selection. Id. at 7, 9.
The Draft Guidance also states that limitations of use, which are presented separately from the indication within the Indications and Usage section, should be included “when there is reasonable concern or uncertainty among FDA’s expert reviewers … about a drug’s risk-benefit profile” and “the awareness of such information is important for practitioners to ensure the safe and effective use of the drug.” Id. at 10. FDA distinguishes limitations of use from contraindications, which are “situations in which the drug should not be used because the risk of use … clearly outweighs any possible therapeutic benefit,” and recommends avoiding redundancy in the labeling by not restating contraindications as limitations of use in the Indications and Usage section. Id. (quoting 21 C.F.R. § 201.57(c)(5)). FDA also recommends incorporating “information that essentially narrows or further defines a drug’s approved indication and is used to direct appropriate therapy … directly into the indication whenever possible,” rather than including it as a limitation of use. Id. Limitations of use may be appropriate if there is reasonable concern or uncertainty about a drug’s effectiveness or safety in a certain clinical situation; if a drug is approved without evidence of benefits known to occur with other drugs in the same class; or if a drug has certain dose, duration, or long-term use considerations. Id. at 11-13. Limitations of use would generally not be appropriate, however, to restate information already included in the indication or to address the absence of data in populations in which the drug was not studied. Id. at 13-14.
Third, the Draft Guidance makes recommendations about how to write, organize, and format the information within the Indications and Usage section. Id. at 14-17. FDA states that while a full description of how benefits of treatment were measured in clinical trials is generally unnecessary, a broad disease indication may be inappropriate where the drug affects only certain signs, symptoms, or manifestations of a disease. Id. at 14. The Indication and Usage section may include an indication identifying outcomes or endpoints when, for example, “the drug’s effect on the overall disease is not well understood; when different drugs have different effects on various manifestations of the diseases; when clinical trials evaluated only one or some of the manifestations of the disease; or when endpoints are different from the typical effectiveness measure.” Id. Additionally, governing statutory and regulatory provisions require or recommend language for certain products, such as systemic antibacterial drug products and products containing a single enantiomer of a previously approved racemic drug. Id. at 15. FDA notes that the phrase “reduce the risk of” is generally preferable to the word “prevent,” and that the words “only” and “also indicated” should generally not be used. Id. at 16.
Readers are encouraged to read the Draft Guidance in its entirety, as well as FDA’s related rules and other guidances, and to consult with legal counsel when making decisions about their product labeling.

[1] Dr. Weingarten is an associate at the Atlanta office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

[2] Dr. Cyr is a partner at the Reston office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

Continued Uncertainty Over BPCIA Leads to Duplicative Lawsuits

Lynn Tyler  By Lynn C. Tyler [1]

Earlier this year, Genentech, Inc., Biogen, Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., and City of Hope (collectively, “Genentech”) filed a suit under the Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”) against Celltrion, Inc., Celltrion Healthcare Co., Ltd., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH (collectively, the “Defendants”) in the District of New Jersey. [2] The New Jersey Complaint alleged the Defendants would infringe forty patents with their proposed marketing of a biosimilar to Genentech’s Rituxan®.
Also earlier this year, the same plaintiffs (excluding Biogen) also sued the same Defendants under the BPCIA in Delaware. [3] The Delaware Complaint alleged the Defendants would infringe forty patents with their proposed marketing of a biosimilar to Genentech’s Herceptin®.
As regular readers of the Flash! are aware, the BPCIA sets forth a series of steps, known as the “patent dance,” through which patent owners and biosimilar developers may engage before beginning patent litigation. The dance begins when the biosimilar applicant, called a subsection (k) applicant by the statute, submits to the FDA an application for approval of a biosimilar drug. The statute states that “[w]hen a subsection (k) applicant submits an application” to the FDA, the applicant will give a copy of the application to one in-house lawyer for the patent owner, called the reference product sponsor, and to outside counsel for the sponsor, subject to certain confidentiality restrictions. 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(1). Later, the statute states that the copy of the application must be provided to the sponsor “[n]ot later than 20 days after the Secretary [through the FDA] notifies the subsection (k) applicant that the application has been accepted for review.” § 262(l)(2). In addition, at that point the applicant must also provide “such other information that describes the process or processes used to manufacture the biological product that is the subject of the application.” Id.
The next step is that, within 60 days after the receipt of the application and process information, the sponsor must provide the applicant with a list of patents which the sponsor believes “could reasonably be asserted” and identify any that are available for license. § 262(l)(3)(A). Sixty days after receiving the sponsor’s list of patents, the applicant must provide the sponsor with (1) its own list of patents that it believes could be asserted, and either (2) a detailed statement, on a claim by claim basis, of the factual and legal basis why each patent on the sponsor’s and applicant’s (if any) list(s) is invalid, unenforceable, or would not be infringed, or (3) a statement that the applicant does not intend to market the product before the patent expires. The applicant must also provide a response to the sponsor’s indication of patents that are available for license. § 262(l)(3)(B).
The final step in this phase is that, within 60 days of receiving the applicant’s detailed statement, the sponsor must provide its own detailed statement, again on a claim by claim basis, of the factual and legal basis why each patent will be infringed and a response to the applicant’s statement on validity and enforceability. § 262(l)(3)(B).
After providing a relatively brief period for the parties to agree on patents to be litigated (§ 262(l)(4)), if the parties cannot agree the statute goes on to prescribe another set of steps in the pre-litigation dance. § 262(l)(5). The first of these is that the applicant notifies the sponsor of the number of patents the applicant will include on a list of patents to be litigated. § 262(l)(5)(A). Five days later, the parties simultaneously exchange lists of patents that each believes “should be the subject of an action for patent infringement.” § 262(l)(5)(B). The number of patents on the sponsor’s list cannot exceed the number on the applicant’s list, unless the applicant’s list does not include any patents, in which case the sponsor can list one patent. Id.
Whether the parties agreed on a list of patents to be litigated or exchanged lists, within 30 days of completing the applicable process the sponsor must file an infringement suit. If the parties agreed on patents to be included, the sponsor’s suit must include those patents. If the parties did not agree, the sponsor’s suit must include all the patents on the respective lists. § 262(l)(6).
Genentech’s Delaware and New Jersey Complaints both alleged that the Defendants had initially engaged in the patent dance, but withdrew before reaching the agreed or exchanged lists of patents to be litigated. Genentech’s Delaware Complaint alleges that the Defendants filed suit in the Northern District of California seeking a declaratory judgment. Both cases allege the Defendants gave Genentech a notice of commercial marketing.
Recently, Genentech filed new Complaints in Delaware [4] and New Jersey [5], asserting the same patents against the same proposed biosimilars. Both Complaints were accompanied by a letter to the Court [6] explaining the reasons for the duplicative filing. According to the letters, after previously abandoning the patent dance as described above, the Defendants allegedly sought to re-engage in the dance and complete the lists of patents to be litigated. As a result, Genentech alleged it was unclear under the BPCIA if it had to file a lawsuit within thirty days of the completion of that step and, if it did not, whether its damages could be limited to a reasonable royalty. To avoid those issues, Genentech filed the duplicative suits and advised the Courts it would seek to have them consolidated with the earlier ones by stipulation or motion.
In all likelihood, the Defendants will have a different view of what happened, why, and its legal effect. What seems beyond dispute, however, is that the BPCIA is full of ambiguities that will be litigated for years to come. Within a few months of its passage, it was deemed “the statute most likely to be amended or repealed” by panelists at a CLE, but sadly so far Congress has not taken any action to clarify the patent dance provisions. The current ambiguities likely do not benefit either patent owners or biosimilar applicants.
[1] Lynn C. Tyler is a registered patent attorney and a partner in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He is currently the chair of AIPLA’s Food and Drug Committee. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property litigation and FDA counseling.
[2] Case No. 1:18-cv-00574 (RMB) (KMW).
[3] C.A. No. 18-095.
[4] C.A. No. 18-1025.
[5] Case No. 1:18-cv-11553.
[6] ECF No. 39 in Delaware and ECF No. 49 in New Jersey.

FDA Issues Guidance on Formal Meetings between the FDA and Sponsors or Applicants of BsUFA Products


By Huihong Qiao [1]

Meetings between the FDA review staff and sponsors or applicants of biosimilar products often represent critical points in the regulatory and development process. To have consistent procedures for the timely and effective conduct of such meetings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a draft guidance for industry. The draft guidance provides recommendations to a sponsor or applicant (Requester(s)) on formal meetings between the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) or the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) and Requester relating to the development and review of biosimilar or interchangeable biological products. For the guidance, formal meeting includes any meeting that is requested in any format.


Types of the meetings. There are five types of formal meetings:  Biosimilar Initial Advisory (BIA), Biosimilar Biological Product Development (BPD) Type 1, BPD Type 2, BPD Type 3, and BPD Type 4. Please see table 1 for details. In general, for a particular biosimilar or interchangeable product, Requesters can request one BIA meeting and one BPD Type 4 meeting, but as many BPD Type 2 and Type 3 meetings as needed, and Requesters are not required to request meetings in sequential order.


Fee and format. No fee is associated with a BIA meeting. Concerning the assessment of BPD fees and the consequences for failure to pay any required BPD fees, refer to the draft guidance for industry, “Assessing User Fees Under the Biosimilar User Fee Amendments of 2017.” The formats of meetings include face to face, teleconference/videoconference, or written response only (WRO).


The procedure could be simplified as: submitting a meeting request and meeting package –> the FDA granting the request –> the FDA providing preliminary responses –> parties conducting a meeting –> the FDA providing meeting minutes to the requesters.


Each step is explained in the following paragraphs.


Requesting a meeting. The procedure begins with a request. Requesters should combine related product development issues into the fewest possible meetings. A request must be submitted in writing via paper submission or electronic gateway. Meeting requests sent by fax or email are considered copies of formal requests. The request should be submitted to the division that has regulatory oversight of the reference product if the proposed biosimilar or interchangeable product has multiple indications that span multiple review divisions. Requesters should consider the complexity of the questions it intends to submit and keep the questions limited to those can be reasonably answered within the allotted time in a single meeting. The planned attendees can change during the time between the request and the meeting. If there are changes, an updated list of attendees with their titles and affiliations should be provided to the appropriate FDA contact at least one week before the meeting. The draft guidance lists information that the FDA requires the request to include (Appendix I below) and a list of information recommended by the FDA (Appendix II below).


Meeting package. The meeting request should be accompanied by a meeting package. CDER strongly recommends submitting the package electronically and provide paper copies (desk copies) as well. CDER project manager will advise on the number of desk copies needed for the meeting attendees.  CDER neither requests nor accepts desk copies of meeting packages that have been electronically submitted. To facilitate FDA review, the meeting package content should be organized according to the proposed agenda.  “The meeting package should be a sequentially paginated document with a table of contents, appropriate indices, appendices, and cross references.  It should be tabbed or bookmarked to enhance reviewers’ navigation across different sections within the package, both in preparation for and during the meeting,” the guidance states. Meeting packages generally should include the information in the order listed in Appendix III below.


Denial of a meeting. The FDA generally honors requests for BPD Type 2, 3, and 4 meetings; however, it has the discretion to grant or deny BIA and BPD Type 2 meeting requests. If a meeting request is denied, the FDA will notify the requester in writing within 21 calendar days from receipt of the meeting request and meeting package (14 days for BPD Type 1 meeting). The reasons to deny a request include that it is premature for the stage of product development, clearly unnecessary, or inappropriate for the format requested. A subsequent request to schedule the meeting will be considered as a new request.


Grant of a meeting. The FDA will notify the applicant of the grant of a request in writing within the same time frame as the denial of a request.  For face-to-face and teleconference/videoconference meetings, the notification includes logistic information and expected FDA participants.  For BIA and BPD Type 2 WRO meetings, the notification will include the date the FDA intends to send the written response. The FDA will schedule the meeting consistent with the time frame outlined in Table 2 below.


Preliminary responses. Communications before the meeting between requesters and the FDA, including preliminary responses, can serve as a foundation for discussion or as the final meeting responses. The FDA holds internal meetings to discuss the content of meeting packages and generate preliminary responses. Except for WRO requests, the FDA will send the requesters its preliminary responses to the questions in the meeting package no later than 2-5 calendar days before the meeting date. Preliminary responses should not be construed as final unless agreed by the FDA and Requesters otherwise, nor intended to generate the submission of new information or new questions.


Rescheduling meetings. A meeting should be rescheduled as soon as possible after the original date, if the FDA or a Requester decides that it is necessary to do so. The exemplary situations in which the FDA may reschedule a meeting are: the review team determines that additional information is needed to address the requester’s questions or other important issues or essential attendees are not available for the scheduled date and time.


Canceling meetings. Some situations may result in canceling meetings, such as failure to pay required BPD fees for a product within the required time frame or the FDA determines that the meeting package is inadequate. If the requester determines that preliminary responses to its questions are sufficient for its needs and additional discussion is not necessary, the requester should contact the FDA regulatory project manager to request cancellation of the meeting.  The FDA will consider whether it agrees that the meeting should be canceled.  Some meetings can be valuable because of the discussion they generate and the opportunity for the division to ask about relevant matters.


Meeting conduct. An FDA staff member will chair the meeting and begin with introductions and an overview of the agenda.  Attendees should not make audio or visual recordings of discussions at meetings. Presentations by requesters generally are not needed. According to the guidance, “[i]f a Requester plans to make a presentation, the presentation should be discussed ahead of time with the FDA project manager,” the Guidance states. If the presentation includes content other than clarifying or explaining of previous data, the FDA staff may not be able to provide commentary.


Either a representative of the FDA or the requester should summarize the important discussion points, agreements, clarifications, and action items. A summary can be done at the end of the meeting or after the discussion of each question.  Generally, the requester will be asked to present the summary to ensure that there is a mutual understanding of meeting outcomes and action items. “At BPD Type 4 meetings, the requester and the FDA should also summarize agreements regarding the content of a complete application and any agreements reached on delayed submission of certain minor application components,” the guidance states.


Meeting minutes. The FDA will issue the official, finalized minutes to the requester within 30 calendar days after the meeting. The following steps should be taken when a requester disagrees that the minutes are an accurate account of the meeting: the requester should contact the FDA project manager and describe the concern. If after contacting the FDA project manager, the requester still disagrees with the content of the minutes, the requester should submit a description of the specific disagreements either:

‒ To the application; or

‒ If there is no application, in a letter to the division director, with a copy to the FDA project manager.

To request information on additional issues that were not addressed at the meeting, the requester should submit a new meeting request or a submission containing specific questions for FDA feedback.


Tables and Appendices: the tables and appendices are reproduced from the draft guidance.

Table 1 – Types of meetings between the FDA and Sponsors or Applicants of BsUFA Products

Type Purpose Contents
BIA An initial assessment limited to a general discussion about feasibility for a biosimilar product, and general advice on the expected content of the development program. Preliminary comparative analytical similarity data from at least one lot of the proposed biosimilar or interchangeable product compared to the U.S.-licensed reference product.
BPD Type 1 A meeting that is necessary for an otherwise stalled development program to proceed or a meeting to address an important safety issue. Exemplary topics:

• discuss clinical holds: (1) in which the requester seeks input on how to address the hold issues; or (2) in which a response to hold issues has been submitted, and reviewed by the FDA, but the FDA and the requester agree that the development is stalled and a new path forward should be discussed

• in response to an FDA nonagreement Special Protocol Assessment letter

• discussion of an important safety issue

• In response to an FDA regulatory action other than an approval

•  discussion of whether FDA should file the application within 30 days of the FDA issuance of a refuse-to-file letter

BPD Type 2 A meeting to discuss a specific issue or questions for which the FDA will provide targeted advice regarding an ongoing development program. This type of may include substantive review of summary data but does not include review of full study reports. Exemplary issues: ranking of quality attributes; chemistry, manufacturing, and controls such as control strategy; study design or endpoints; post- approval changes
BPD Type 3 This meeting type includes substantive review of full study reports or an extensive data package, and FDA advice regarding the need for additional studies, including design and analysis, based on a comprehensive data package. Exemplary submission:

datasets that support the full study reports;

full study report(s) for a clinical study or clinical studies;

proposal for any planned additional studies;

proposal for extrapolation

BPD Type 4 The meeting is to discuss the format and content of the planned submission and other items


Exemplary topics:

• identification of studies that the sponsor is relying on to support a demonstration of  biosimilarity or interchangeability

• discussion of any potential review issues identified based on the information provided

• identification of the status of ongoing or needed studies to adequately address the Pediatric Research Equity Act

• acquainting FDA reviewers with the general information to be submitted in the marketing application (including technical information)

• Discussion of the best approach to the presentation and formatting of data in the marketing application


Table 2:  FDA Meeting Scheduling Time Frames

Meeting Type Meeting Scheduling (calendar days from receipt of meeting request and meeting package)
BIA 75 days
BPD 1 30 days
BPD 2 90 days
BPD 3 120 days
BPD 4 60 days


Appendix I: The meeting request must include the following information:

  1. Type of the meeting being requested and rationale of the requesting.
  2. The proposed format of the meeting.
  3. A brief statement of the purpose of the meeting. This statement should include a brief background of the issues underlying the agenda.  It also can include a brief summary of completed or planned studies or data that the requester intends to discuss at the meeting, the general nature of the critical questions to be asked, and where the meeting fits in overall development plans.  Although the statement should not provide the details of study designs or completed studies, it should provide enough information to facilitate understanding of the issues, such as a small table that summarizes major results.
  4. A list of the specific objectives or outcomes the requester expects from the meeting.
  5. A proposed agenda, including estimated times needed for discussion of each agenda item.
  6. A list of questions, grouped by FDA discipline. For each question there should be a brief explanation of the context and purpose of the question.
  7. A list of planned attendees from the requester’s organization, which should include their names and titles. The list should also include the names, titles, and affiliations of consultants and interpreters, if applicable.
  8. A list of requested FDA attendees and/or discipline representative(s). Note that requests for attendance by FDA staff who are not otherwise essential to the application’s review may affect the ability to hold the meeting within the specified time frame of the meeting type being requested.  Therefore, when attendance by nonessential FDA staff is requested, the meeting request should provide a justification for such attendees and state whether or not a later meeting date is acceptable to the requester to accommodate the nonessential FDA attendees.
  9. Suggested dates and times (e.g., morning or afternoon) for the meeting that are within or beyond the appropriate scheduling time frame of the meeting type being requested (see Table 2 in section VII.B., Meeting Granted). Dates and times when the requester is not available should also be included.

Appendix II: The FDA recommends a meeting request should include the following information:

  1. The application number (if previously assigned).
  2. The development-phase code name of product (if pre-licensure).
  3. The proper name (if post-licensure).
  4. The structure (if applicable).
  5. The reference product proper and proprietary names.
  6. The proposed indication(s) or context of product development.
  7. Pediatric study plans, if applicable.
  8. Human factors engineering plan, if applicable.
  9. Combination product information (e.g., constituent parts, including details of the device constituent part, intended packaging, planned human factors studies), if applicable.

Appendix III: The FDA recommends the meeting package include the information listed in the order  below:

  1. The application number (if previously assigned).
  2. The development-phase code name of product (if pre-licensure).
  3. The proper name (if post-licensure).
  4. The structure (if applicable).
  5. The reference product proprietary and proper names.
  6. The proposed indication(s) or context of product development.
  7. The dosage form, route of administration, dosing regimen (frequency and duration), and presentation(s).
  8. Pediatric study plans, if applicable.
  9. Human factors engineering plan, if applicable.
  10. Combination product information (e.g., constituent parts, including details of the device constituent part, intended packaging, planned human factors studies), if applicable.
  11. A list of all individuals, with their titles and affiliations, who will attend the requested meeting from the requester’s organization, including consultants and interpreters, if applicable.
  12. A background section that includes the following:
  13. A brief history of the development program and relevant communications with the FDA before the meeting
  14. Substantive changes in product development plans (e.g., manufacturing changes, new study population or endpoint), when applicable
  15. The current status of product development (e.g., chemistry, manufacturing, and controls; nonclinical; and clinical, including any development outside the United States, as applicable)

[1] Huihong Qiao is a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She is a former postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes of Health, and examined patent applications as an extern at the Biotechnology Center of the USPTO. She was admitted to the DC Bar in February, 2018.