Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; VAPRISOL
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the regulatory review period for VAPRISOL and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination because of the submission of an application to the Director of Patents and Trademarks, Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent that claims that human drug product.
Submit written comments and petitions to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments.
For further information contact:
Beverly Friedman, Office of Regulatory Policy (HFD-7), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-594-2041.
The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act (Public Law 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 human drug product 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 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 VAPRISOL (conivaptan hydrochloride). VAPRISOL is indicated for treatment of euvolemic hyponatremia in hospitalized patients. Subsequent to this approval, the Patent and Trademark Office received a patent term restoration application for VAPRISOL (U.S. Patent No. 5,723,606) from Astellas Pharma, Inc., and the Patent and Trademark Office requested FDA's assistance in determining this patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated September 5, 2006, FDA advised the Patent and Trademark Office that this human drug product had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of VAPRISOL 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 VAPRISOL is 2,796 days. Of this time, 2,096 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 700 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 act) (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: May 6, 1998. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the date the Investigational New Drug application became effective was on May 6, 1998.
2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to the human drug product under section 505(b) of the act: January 30, 2004. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the new drug application (NDA) for VAPRISOL (NDA 21-697) was initially submitted on January 30, 2004.
3. The date the application was approved: December 29, 2005. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that NDA 21-697 was approved on December 29, 2005.
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 1,745 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) written or electronic comments and ask for a redetermination by May 29, 2007. 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 September 25, 2007. 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.
Comments and petitions should be submitted to the Division of Dockets Management. Three copies of any mailed information are to be submitted, except that individuals may submit one copy. Comments are to be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Comments and petitions may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.Dated: March 12, 2007. Jane A. Axelrad, Associate Director for Policy, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.