Biogen Wins Patent Dispute for Multiple Sclerosis Drug Tecfidera

Under the ruling, Biogen secured Tecfidera exclusivity through 2028.

The US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAP) ruled in favor of Biogen last week, stating the patents on its blockbuster multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Tecfidera are valid.

PTAP ruled that Forward Pharma’s written patent description was insufficient to declare infringement by Biogen. The ruling releases Biogen from future royalty payments to Forward Pharma.

The dispute over the patents was regarding the key active ingredient in Tecfidera called dimethyl fumarate. The drug is the leading oral MS treatment, with sales of approximately $4 billion in 2016.

If Biogen had lost, it would have been forced to pay Forward a 10% royalty on Tecfidera sales beginning in 2021, ET Healthworld reported. Biogen’s exclusivity is secured through 2028 under the ruling.

In January, Biogen took out an insurance policy against a potential defeat in the patent dispute. It agreed to pay Forward $1.25 billion to license the company’s patents covering MS drugs, giving Biogen a share of the company’s intellectual property, according to ET Healthworld.

Shares for the Forward dropped nearly 20%, and Biogen shares were up 1.4%.