Cephalon, Inc. v. Watson Pharm., Inc. , No. 11-1325 (Fed. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The patents relate to a method of drug delivery via the mucous membrane lining or mucosa in the oral cavity. The oral mucosal route provides direct access to the bloodstream without having to travel through the gastrointestinal tract, which allows the drug to avoid the “first pass effect,” the percentage of drug lost to metabolization in the liver. Drug delivery across the oral mucosa potentially provides patients with rapid onset of action at a lower dosage. The patents disclose use of effervescent agents used as penetration enhancers, which influence drug absorption across the buccal, sublingual and gingival mucosae and use of an additional pH adjusting substance in combination with an effervescent agent for promoting the absorption. Watson filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application for a generic version of FENTORA®. In response, Cephalon instituted a patent infringement suit. The district court found that Watson’s ANDA products did not infringe and held the asserted patents invalid for lack of enablement. The Federal Circuit reversed on the issue of enablement, holding that Watson failed as a matter of law to show with clear and convincing evidence that Cephalon’s patents require undue experimentation to practice the invention. The court upheld the noninfringement finding.