Welcome to the Goodwin’s Life Sciences Perspectives Blog, a resource specifically aimed at addressing your most frequent and pressing issues and providing insights on current developments.

The challenges across the life sciences industry are as abundant as the opportunities. From tightening federal regulations and market forces to revolutionary innovations, the headwinds are stiff and shifting but they are navigable. We will be tracking emerging issues and developments on private and public company matters, licensing deals and collaborations, patent and IP matters, FDA and healthcare regulatory compliance, and European and Asian developments for life sciences companies. Sign up to receive postings from Goodwin’s Life Sciences Perspectives blog by clicking here.

 

Life Sciences Companies Make Up a Small Portion of the Companies Opting-In to the Unitary Patent; Ireland Announces Referendum Date

Life sciences companies continue to make up a small portion of the companies registering for Unitary Patents. Per the European Patent Office’s statistics portal, as of January 30, 2024 there have been 18,721 registered Unitary Patents. The Uptake Rate is 17.5%. Of this, Medical Technology companies account for 2,266 (or,…

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USPTO Publishes Enablement Guidelines in view of Amgen v. Sanofi

On January 10, 2024, the USPTO published guidelines for assessing enablement in view of Amgen v. Sanofi and other recent court cases (“the Guidelines”). The Guidelines state that they are not intended to “announce any major changes to USPTO practice or procedure” but instead “incorporat[e] guidance from the Amgen decision and several post-Amgen enablement court decisions that…

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Federal Circuit Remands to USPTO to Clarify Analysis of Jepson-Format and Means-Plus-Function Claims in the Field of Biotechnology

On January 23, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued its decision granting the USPTO’s request to remand Xencor’s appeal of the rejection of U.S. Patent App. No 16/803,690 (“’690 patent application”) back to the USPTO. The USPTO requested remand so that the USPTO’s Appeals…

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K-Fee Provides a Warning to Life Sciences Companies – What You Say in Foreign Prosecution May Affect Your U.S. Claim Scope

On December 26, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in K-Fee System GMBH v. Nespresso USA, Inc. While nominally a case related to coffee makers, its teachings are highly applicable to life science companies as they tend to file large numbers of…

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Master(ing) Protocols for Randomized Umbrella and Platform Trials

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a draft guidance, “Master Protocols for Drug and Biological Product Development”, that echoes and builds on principles that the Agency previously set forth in guidance for COVID-19 master protocols (2019), master protocols in oncology (2022) and clinical trials for multiple versions…

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A Look Ahead in Life Sciences: What We Are Tracking in Q1 2024 and Beyond

As the life sciences, medtech, and diagnostic industries continue to expand and grow increasingly complex, so does the legal, regulatory, and compliance landscape. To help companies and investors navigate the many evolving and emerging laws and regulations across pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, diagnostics, and laboratory testing, our Life Sciences Regulatory…

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FDA Targets April 2024 for Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) Final Rule

On December 6, 2023, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) released the Fall 2023 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the “Agenda”), a semiannual compilation of information regarding regulations under development by federal agencies. In its preamble, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) notes that…

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Significant 340B Drug Pricing Program Litigation May Impact 340B Scope

Two recent federal court cases signal new significant developments with respect to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Specifically: (1) new federal district court litigation challenging a recent HRSA Notice involving 340B Program “child site” registration and eligibility; and (2) a court decision in other litigation that implicates the scope of…

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