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Notice

Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; MULTAQ

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the regulatory review period for MULTAQ and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of applications to the Director of Patents and Trademarks, Department of Commerce, for the extension of patents which claim that human drug product.

ADDRESSES:

Submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written petitions along with three copies and written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, rm. 6222, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3602.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Pub. L. 100-670) generally provide that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For human drug products, the testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical investigations of the drug becomes effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the human drug product and continues until FDA grants permission to market the drug product. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Director of Patents and Trademarks may award (for example, half the testing phase must be subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a human drug product will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).

FDA recently approved for marketing the human drug product MULTAQ (dronedarone hydrochloride). MULTAQ is indicated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular hospitalization in patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) or atrial flutter (AFL), with a recent episode of AF/AFL and associated cardiovascular risk factors who are in sinus rhythm or who will be cardioverted. Subsequent to this approval, the Patent and Trademark Office received patent term restoration applications for MULTAQ (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,223,510 and 7,323,493) from Sanofi-Aventis, and the Patent and Trademark Office requested FDA's assistance in determining the patents' eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated March 3, 2010, FDA advised the Patent and Trademark Office that this human drug product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of MULTAQ represented the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product. Thereafter, the Patent and Trademark Office requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory review period.

FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for MULTAQ is 5,076 days. Of this time, 3,593 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 1,483 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the following dates:

1. The date an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FFD&C act) (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: August 10, 1995. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the date the investigational new drug application became effective was on August 10, 1995.

2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human drug product under section 505(b) of the FFD&C act: June 10, 2005. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the first new drug application (NDA) for MULTAQ (NDA 21-913) was submitted on June 10, 2005. Start Printed Page 76992

3. The date the application was approved: July 1, 2009. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that NDA 21-425 for MULTAQ was approved on July 1, 2009.

This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its applications for patent extension, this applicant seeks 519 days and 5 years, respectively, of patent term extension.

Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are incorrect may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) either electronic or written comments and ask for a redetermination by February 8, 2011. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted with due diligence during the regulatory review period by June 8, 2011. To meet its burden, the petition must contain sufficient facts to merit an FDA investigation. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 21 CFR 10.30.

Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) electronic or written comments and written petitions. It is only necessary to send one set of comments. It is no longer necessary to send three copies of mailed comments. However, if you submit a written petition, you must submit three copies of the petition. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

Comments and petitions that have not been made publicly available on regulations.gov may be viewed in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Dated: October 22, 2010.

Jane A. Axelrad,

Associate Director for Policy, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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[FR Doc. 2010-31064 Filed 12-9-10; 8:45 am]

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