Director’s orders

By Richard Lloyd

Under threat from investors and generic rivals, pharma and biotech have become staunch opponents of the inter partes review regime. However, as they push for reform, they face a stiff challenge from the US Patent and Trademark Office and Congress

As he sat in a board meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) in New York in February 2015, Ron Cohen noticed a new message on his phone. As CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, a biotech company worth around $900 million, Cohen is used to a steady stream of texts and emails making demands on his time. But this one was different. The message informed him that Kyle Bass – a hedge fund investor who had risen to prominence on the back of a bet against the housing bubble in 2007 – and IPNav founder Erich Spangenberg had filed two inter partes reviews against a couple of Acorda patents. “It hit us like a thunderbolt,” Cohen recalls.

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Issue 89