Juno Awarded $752 Million as Friday 13th CAR-T Patent Ruling Goes against Kite Pharma
On Friday 13th December 2019 a Californian court ruled against Kite Pharma, holding that its blood cancer therapy Yescarta infringed Juno Therapeutics’ exclusively licensed patent and awarding Juno $752M damages. The patent at issue was US 7,446,190, which Juno had exclusively licensed from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, covering certain constructs for chimeric T Cell receptors having a co-stimulatory signalling region.
Juno persuasively argued that following an unsuccessful attempt to agree licensing terms, and to invalidate the ‘190 patent in inter partes review in 2016, Kite wilfully infringed the ‘190 patent by developing and bringing its ground-breaking, potentially multi-billion dollar, immunotherapy treatment Yescarta to market.
Seemingly the court was not convinced by Kite’s arguments that a post-grant correction, relating to the numbering of an amino acid, fundamentally changed the patent and widened its scope.
This may mark the end of the long running patent dispute between the parties, although Kite may well appeal the decision.