GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Banner Pharmacaps, Inc.

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Dutasteride is useful in the treatment of androgen responsive diseases. Androgens are a class of hormones; testosterone is the major circulating androgen. Androgens are implicated in diseases including benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, acne, male pattern baldness and hirsutism. In some target tissues, including prostate and skin tissue, testosterone produces certain effects by first being converted to dihydrotestosterone. Dutasteride inhibits the enzymes that catalyze the conversion, mitigating some of testosterone’s physiological effects. GSK markets Avodart® and Jalyn™, which contain dutasteride and are FDA-approved to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. GSK’s patent covers dutasteride and any “pharmaceutically acceptable solvate thereof.” Defendants filed Abbreviated New Drug Applications under 21 U.S.C. 355(j), seeking FDA approval to market generic versions of the drugs. As authorized by 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(2), GSK sued for infringement. Defendants stipulated to infringement, but alleged that the asserted claims were invalid for anticipation, lack of utility, lack of enablement, and inadequacy of the written description. The district court construed “solvate” (of dutasteride), acknowledging considerable extrinsic evidence that, in the pharmaceutical field, “solvate” is limited to crystalline complexes, no matter how created, but concluded that the specification of this particular patent directly contradicted any such narrow usage. The Federal Circuit affirmed without addressing claim construction because no matter which construction is adopted, the term “solvate” involves no performance property View "GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Banner Pharmacaps, Inc." on Justia Law