Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA) has announced that the European Patent Office has ruled in its favor in a case where the company was involved in a patent dispute with FibroGen Inc (NASDAQ:FGEN).
The Opposition Division of the patent office argued that the patent failed to meet the requirements for patentability as provided in the European Patent Convention. The oral ruling took place on March 8 and 9, and a written ruling is expected over the next few months. It will also be in line with the OD’s oral ruling. John P. Butler, the president and CEO of Akebia stated that the firm was happy about the decision made by the European Patent Office.
Butler also pointed out that Akebia will stick to its goals of commercializing vadadustat on an international scale. Vadadustat addresses anemia that is often the result of chronic kidney disease. The CEO also added that his company is gearing up for a European collaboration that will be in line with the recent arrangement with Mitsubishi Tanabe in Japan as well as other countries in Asia.
He also pointed out that the company will continue to push for registration in the firm’s PRO2TECT Phase 3 program for patients who do not go through dialysis. Akebia will also launch a program to analyze the behavior of vadadustat in dialysis patients. The program will be launched later on this year.
FibroGen, Inc. was granted the ’823 patent by the EPO in June 2013. One of the provisions of the patent was that the company had rights over the use of heterocyclic carboxamide compound chosen from a group made up of isoquinoline carboxamides, beta-carboline carboxamides, cinnoline carboxamides, and pyridine carboxamides. The above-mentioned compounds block the functioning of HIF-PH enzyme during the making of a treatment used to prevent or treat anemia. Akebia filed for a dispute over the patent and sought for the patent to be revoked. The OD’s decision was a confirmation that the patent did not fulfill the requirements of patentability.