Controversial fund manager Kyle Bass loses first major pharma patent battle
- The United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has rejected Kyle Bass' efforts to invalidate two patents for Acorda Therapeutics' multiple sclerosis (MS) drug, Ampyra (dalfampridine).
- Bass' petition was based on the contention that Acorda’s patent simply synthesizes what scientists already knew about Ampyra’s active ingredient and its optimal dosage.
- Bass' Coalition for Affordable Drugs has filed petitions regarding the validity of patents for numerous drugs, including painkillers, blood thinners, and most recently the cancer drug Subsys from Insys Therapeutics.
It's not clear what Bass' strategy is in filing petitions against numerous drugmakers, with the goal of invalidating their patents. Some have speculated that his aim may be to force the stock prices down and make money either short-selling or buying the stocks at cheaper prices. In fact, the first time that Bass filed a petition against Acorda, its stock dropped by 9.7%, and the second time, its stock dropped by 4.8%.
Bass' efforts to invalidate patents have been unsuccessful so far, and seem specious at face value. In fact, the court has decided that Bass cannot appeal its latest decision regarding Ampyra's patents. Other petitions lodged by Bass include those that question the patents of two of Shire's drugs, Lialda for ulcerative colitis and Gattex for short-bowel syndrome.
The court's decision regarding Ampyra was well received by the market. Acorda's stock was up as much as 22% after the announcement. This makes perfect sense, given the fact that Amprya, which had $192.9 million in gross revenues for the first six months of 2015, represents 90% of Acorda's revenues.