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Notice

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

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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 ACTEMRA 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 biological 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 biological products, the testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical investigations of the biological becomes effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial submission of an application to market the human biological product and continues until FDA grants permission to market the biological 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 biological product will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).

FDA approved for marketing the human biologic product ACTEMRA (tocilizumab). ACTEMRA is indicated for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Subsequent to this approval, the Patent and Trademark Office received patent term restoration applications for ACTEMRA (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,670,373 and 5,795,965), filed by Chugai Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha, and for U.S. Patent No. 5,888,510, filed by Chugai Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha and Tadamitsu Kishimoto for ACTEMRA. The Patent and Trademark Office requested FDA's assistance in determining these patents' eligibilities for patent term restoration. In a letter dated September 30, 2010, FDA advised the Patent and Trademark Office that this human biological product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of ACTEMRA 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 ACTEMRA is 1,893 days. Of this time, 1,111 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 782 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 (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: November 4, 2004. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the date the investigational new drug application became effective was on November 4, 2004.

2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human biological product under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262): November 19, 2007. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the biologics license application (BLA) for ACTEMRA (BLA 125276/0) was initially submitted on November 19, 2007.

3. The date the application was approved: January 8, 2010. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that BLA 125276/0 was approved on January 8, 2010.

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 application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 1,338 days 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 August 1, 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 November 28, 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 http://www.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: April 15, 2011.

Jane A. Axelrad,

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

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[FR Doc. 2011-13388 Filed 5-27-11; 8:45 am]

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