Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings

v3.21.1
Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings
We record an estimate of a loss when the loss is considered probable and estimable. Where a liability is probable and there is a range of estimated loss and no amount in the range is more likely than any other number in the range, we record the minimum estimated liability related to the claim in accordance with ASC 450, Contingencies. As additional information becomes available, we assess the potential liability related to our pending litigation and revises our estimates. Revisions in our estimates of potential liability could materially impact our results of operations.

On April 9, 2019, CyDex, our wholly-owned subsidiary, received a Paragraph IV certification Notice Letter from Alembic Global Holdings SA (“Alembic”) stating that Alembic had submitted an ANDA to the FDA, seeking approval to manufacture, offer to sell, and sell a generic version of EVOMELA® prior to the expiration of any of the ’077 patent; the ’088 patent, the ’582 patent, or U.S. Patent No. 10,040,872 (“the ’872 patent”), and alleging that these patents, each of which relates to Captisol®, are invalid, unenforceable, and/or would not be infringed by Alembic’s ANDA product. On May 23, 2019, CyDex filed a complaint against Alembic, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., and Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, asserting that the filing of Alembic’s ANDA constitutes infringement of each of the ’088 patent and the ’582 patent. On July 29, 2019, Alembic filed an answer and counterclaims seeking declarations of non-infringement and invalidity as to each of the asserted patents and, on August 19, 2019, CyDex filed an answer to Alembic’s counterclaims. On April 7, 2020, the Court ordered that the Scheduling Order be amended such that, inter alia, the fact discovery cut off occurred on November 2, 2020, the close of expert discovery was set for March 22, 2021, and that May 17, 2021 would remain the first day of a five-to-six-day bench trial. On November 2, 2020, the District Court issued an order construing the disputed issues of claim construction, adopting the claim construction positions urged by CyDex. On January 13, 2021, the District Court entered an order noting that the parties were engaged in ongoing settlement efforts, and ordering that (i) all deadlines in the litigation be stayed, and (ii) the parties submit a joint status report within 30 days. In early February, and again in early March, the parties submitted status reports stating that they have made substantial progress toward finalizing an agreement. All deadlines are presently stayed.

On September 16, 2019, CyDex received a Paragraph IV certification Notice Letter from Lupin Ltd. (“Lupin”) stating that Lupin had submitted an ANDA to the FDA, seeking approval to manufacture, offer to sell, and sell a generic version of EVOMELA® prior to the expiration of any of the ’077 patent; the ’088 patent, the ’582 patent, or the ’872 patent, and alleging that these patents, each of which relates to Captisol®, are invalid, unenforceable, and/or would not be infringed by Lupin’s ANDA product. CyDex filed a complaint on October 29, 2019, alleging patent infringement against Lupin. Lupin filed an answer on December 11, 2019 and counterclaimed for declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement as to all four patents and CyDex filed its answer to Lupin’s counterclaims on January 2, 2020. The parties entered into a settlement agreement on April 26, 2021 and the lawsuit has been dismissed.

On October 31, 2019, we received three civil complaints filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of several Indian tribes. The Northern District of Ohio is the Court that the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (“JPML”) has assigned more than one thousand civil cases which have been designated as a Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”) and captioned In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation. The allegations in these complaints focus on the activities of
defendants other than the company and no individualized factual allegations have been advanced against us in any of the three complaints. We reject all claims raised in the complaints and intend to vigorously defend these matters.

In May and August of 2019, Pfenex Inc., which was acquired by us in October 2020, filed three petitions (IPR2019- 01027, IPR2019-01028 and IPR2019-01478) for inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 9,422,345 (“the ‘345 patent,” entitled “Expression System”), which is owned by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. (“GSK”) , with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In November 2019 and February 2020, the Board instituted trial on invalidity grounds in IPR2019-01028, but exercised its discretion not to institute trial on IPR2019-01027 or IPR2019-01478. In May 2020, GSK filed two petitions (IPR2020-00890 and IPR2020-00962) for inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 8,530,171 (“the ‘171 patent,” entitled “High Level Expression of Recombinant Toxin Proteins”), which is owned by Pfenex, with the PTAB of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. On June 29, 2020, GSK filed a motion to withdraw IPR2020-00890, which was granted on August 28, 2020. In October 2020, Pfenex and GSK executed a confidential settlement agreement agreeing to terminate the proceedings before the PTAB resolving these issues. Pfenex and GSK filed a joint motion to terminate IPR2019-01028 and IPR2020-00962 on October 30, 2020, and an amended joint motion to terminate on November 4, 2020. A decision granting the parties’ joint motion to terminate in IPR2019-01028 was issued on November 12, 2020. The PTAB subsequently granted the parties’ joint motion to terminate in IPR2020-00962 on December 30, 2020.

On January 12, 2021, Abvivo submitted a JAMS arbitration demand naming the Company as respondent. Abvivo claims that the Company is in violation of the assignment provision of that certain Commercial Platform License and Services Agreement (“CPLSA”), dated October 9, 2019, by and among OMT and Crystal, on the one hand, and Abvivo, on the other hand because the Company allegedly withheld its consent to a proposed assignment required for Abvivo to negotiate a discovery and development alliance with certain third parties. On January 26, 2021, we submitted a response to the demand, denying all claims and alleging counterclaims against Abvivo and Brian Lundstrom, a Company employee and the sole owner of Abvivo. We allege that Mr. Lundstrom breached his fiduciary duty of loyalty to the Company and that Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom fraudulently induced the Company, OMT and Crystal into certain business transactions and contracts. Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom’s response to these counterclaims was due on February 9, 2021, but they did not submit a response. Under JAMS rules, the counterclaims are deemed denied. On February 22, 2021, Abvivo submitted documents to JAMS which indicated that it seeks to dismiss its claim without prejudice, which we oppose. On February 25, 2021, we submitted additional counterclaims against Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom. These counterclaims allege that Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom made false promises regarding the CPLSA, Abvivo’s breach of and failure to perform under the CPLSA, and Abvivo’s infringement of certain Ligand trademarks. On March 11, 2021, Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom submitted an answer to our amended counterclaims denying all of the claims and asserting various affirmative defenses. The arbitration will be conducted by a three arbitrator panel, the members of which were appointed on March 30, 2021. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this action.