How Amgen v. Sanofi will affect innovation and the pharmaceutical industry.
By Timothy Bonis
Millions of patients rely on monoclonal antibodies. The global market in 2022 was $210B with a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent. Monoclonal antibody patents are now some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property.
Monoclonal antibody patent law has been in turmoil for the past two decades. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “Federal Circuit”) has repeatedly raised the standards for antibody patents, forcing patentees to rethink how they protect their inventions. In April 2023, the increasingly stringent standards of the Federal Circuit were affirmed by the Supreme Court. In Amgen v. Sanofi, the justices unanimously upheld the invalidation of two antibody patents, potentially transforming patent law across biotech.
This post reviews the emerging post-Amgen literature, distilling the ruling’s likely impact on innovation and the pharmaceutical industry. A companion post addresses the ruling’s legal significance.
This post has three parts. Part I describes monoclonal antibodies and why Amgen is important. Parts II and III address innovation, first by discussing whether Amgen is reflective of modern antibody science and second by exploring how the ruling may affect the pharmaceutical industry.