Vectura Group confirms that on 3rd May 2019, following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, the relevant asserted claim of Vectura’s US patent 8303991 was found valid and infringed by US sales of three of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Ellipta® products.
The jury awarded Vectura $89.7m in damages for the period from August 2016 through December 2018, based on a calculation of 3% of US sales of these products. Vectura expects to seek application of the 3% royalty to the sales of the infringing products through the end of the patent term in mid-2021. The jury also found that GSK’s infringement was willful. The willfulness finding gives Vectura the right to seek enhanced damages. GSK has the option to appeal the decision.
James Ward-Lilley, Chief Executive Officer of Vectura, commented: “Although we regret the need to take a longstanding partner to court, we are pleased with the jury’s verdict which confirms the validity of our intellectual property and the decision to progress this action with GSK. We will provide updates on this matter in due course.”
Background to litigation:
In July 2016, Vectura filed a patent infringement lawsuit against GSK in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware claiming that sales of certain GSK Ellipta® products infringed Vectura patents.
Vectura and GSK had entered into an agreement in 2010 under which GSK had taken a license to formulation technology covered by a Vectura patent family. These licensed patents expired in July 2016. At this time GSK had the option to license additional patent families under the original agreement but declined to do so, resulting in the filing of the lawsuit by Vectura.
From the outset Vectura has been open to finding a mutually acceptable solution to avoid prolonging the dispute. Those efforts were not fruitful and led to the litigation progressing to a jury trial in April 2019.
Expected news flow for 2019
In the meantime, we continue to focus on executing our strategy and to build on our recently reported strong financial and operational progress. Further expected news flow for 2019 includes:
- VR315 (US) repeat clinical study read-out and resubmission
- VR647 (US) partnering post FDA end of Phase II meeting
- Updated disclosure on new nebulised niche portfolio assets, including potential orphan drug designation
- QVM149 Phase III study completion and submission