Saul Ewing client Helsinn defeats Hospira’s jurisdictional challenge in the DNJ

Saul Ewing client Helsinn defeats Hospira’s jurisdictional challenge in the DNJ
Hospira Can't Shake Patent Row Over Generic Aloxi
April 5, 2016
Shayna Posses
Law 360

Saul Ewing scored a victory on behalf of client, Helsinn Healthcare S.A., defeating a motion for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim filed by Hospira, Inc. and Hospira Worldwide, Inc. Charlie Lizza, vice chair of the Litigation Department and co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Practice, and Bill Baton, vice chair of the Life Sciences Practice, oversaw the briefing and defenses and were assisted by Sarah Sullivan and David Moses. 

In a decision on April 5, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that Helsinn could continue its suit against the Hospira defendants for infringement of Helsinn’s patents for its anti-nausea drug Aloxi®. The jurisdictional ruling was based on a recent Federal Circuit decision establishing that the court has jurisdiction when a generic maker has sufficient minimum contacts with the state.

Helsinn sued Hospira in March 2015 after it filed an ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) with the FDA seeking approval to manufacture and market a generic version of Aloxi®. Hospira responded to the lawsuit with a motion to dismiss, arguing lack of personal jurisdiction. After Helsinn amended the complaint to add Hospira, Inc.’s New Jersey subsidiary, Hospira Worldwide, Inc., Hospira re-filed its motion to dismiss to also assert failure to state a claim on behalf of Hospira Worldwide.

U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper ruled in favor of Helsinn based on the recent Acorda decision in the Federal Circuit, Nos. 15-1456, 15-1460 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 18, 2016), which held that a similar ANDA case could proceed in Delaware even though Mylan, the drug company alleged to have infringed Acorda’s patent, is based in West Virginia. In that case, the court found Mylan had sufficient minimum contacts in Delaware because it was registered to do business there and utilized a network of wholesalers and distributors to service the state. Judge Cooper ruled in favor of Helsinn on Hospira’s failure to state a claim argument based on both Federal Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent regarding sufficient pleading requirements.

The decision was first reported in Law360 as a featured article. To read the full article, click here.