Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings

v3.21.2
Commitment and Contingencies: Legal Proceedings
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 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. The parties entered into a settlement agreement on June 1, 2021 and the lawsuit has been dismissed.

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 claimed that the Company was 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 alleged 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 were deemed denied. On February 22, 2021, Abvivo submitted documents to JAMS which indicated that it sought to dismiss its claim without prejudice. On February 25, 2021, we submitted additional counterclaims against Abvivo and Mr. Lundstrom. These counterclaims alleged 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. On June 21, 2021, the parties executed a confidential settlement agreement that settled all claims in this arbitration. On June 29, 2021, the parties jointly submitted to JAMS a dismissal with prejudice of all claims by all parties in the arbitration.
CyDex and Baxter Healthcare Corp. (“Baxter”) are parties to a license agreement relating to Ligand’s Captisol technology and, more specifically, relating to Captisol-enabled Nexterone (amiodarone HCl premixed injection). Baxter contends that it has overpaid royalties for several years, and seeks both refunds of those overpayment and a reduced royalty going forward. CyDex contends that Baxter has not paid the royalties due to CyDex under the terms of the license agreement. On April 6, 2021, Baxter initiated an arbitration with the American Arbitration Association pursuant to the arbitration provision of the license agreement. On April 21, 2021, CyDex filed an Answering Statement and Counterdemand. On May 5, 2021, Baxter filed an Answering Statement in response to CyDex’s Counterdemand. On June 30, 2021, the parties’ held a Preliminary Hearing before the arbitrator. The arbitration is in its early stages.