By Anna Rose Welch, Editor, Biosimilar Development
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Last February, Hayman Capital Management hedge fund director Kyle Bass took the pharma industry by surprise when he launched a newer form of patent challenge against Acorda Therapeutics. The Inter Partes Review (IPR) process, established in 2012 as part of the America Invents Act (AIA), was originally earmarked by Congress as a method for competitors or other biotech companies to clear bad patents out of the system.
It boasted a more-efficient, cheaper process for resolving patent challenges. However, according to two experts from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Kyle Bass is considered an atypical petitioner, as his efforts go against the Act’s intentions for the IPR. While Bass’ proclaimed goal has been to eliminate patents to clear the way for cheaper generic drugs, he also has used the IPR as a method to shortsell a company’s stock for his own financial gain. Now, a year after launching his first IPR against Acorda’s Ampyra, Bass has launched upwards of 35 IPRs on high-profile pharma and biopharma companies. Only seven of the 16 reviewed IPRs have been passed to trial, where final rulings are still pending. However, Bass does not show signs of quitting.