Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, No. 17-1480 (Fed. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Amgen’s patents relate to antibodies that help reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), or “bad cholesterol.” Typically, high LDL-C is treated using small molecules (statins), which sometimes have adverse side effects or cannot reduce a patient’s LDL-C to a healthy level, requiring an alternative treatment, such as a PCSK9 inhibitor. PCSK9 is a naturally occurring protein that binds to and causes the destruction of liver cell receptors (LDL-Rs) that are responsible for extracting LDLC from the bloodstream. Amgen began studying PCSK9 in 2005 and developed the drug Repatha™ with the active ingredient “evolocumab,” a monoclonal antibody that targets PCSK9 to prevent it from destroying LDL-R proteins.The FDA approved Repatha in 2015. In 2007, Appellants started exploring antibodies targeting PCSK9, resulting in the development of Praluent. Praluent's active ingredient is a monoclonal antibody that targets PCSK9 to prevent it from binding to and destroying LDL-R proteins. The LDL-R proteins then extract LDL-C, lowering overall LDL-C levels. In 2011, Appellants obtained a patent that claimed Praluent by its amino acid sequence. The FDA approved Praluent in 2015. Amgen sued Appellants. Appellants stipulated to infringement. The district court enjoined the sale of Praluent. The Federal Circuit reversed in part. The district court erred by excluding Appellants’ evidence regarding post-priority-date evidence of enablement and improperly instructed the jury on written description.