On July 27, 2015, Sanofi challenged two members of the well-known Cabilly family of patents. Sanofi (and Regeneron) filed both a petition for IPR challenging US Patent 6,331,415 (“Methods of producing immunoglobulins, vectors and transformed host cells for use therein”) as well as a Declaratory Judgement (DJ) complaint against a child patent (US 7,923,221; “Cabilly III”). US 7,923,221 is a CON of US 6,331,415 (“Cabilly II”), which is a CON of US 4,816,567 (“Cabilly I”). These patents generally relate to steps involved in the production of therapeutic antibodies. Although the ’415 patent has a priority claim dating back to 1983, it will not expire until December 2018 (the patent went through lengthy interference and reexamination proceedings at the PTO).
It is worth noting that although the Cabilly patents have expired in all other countries, they are still very relevant for companies that might want to sell or import their antibodies into the United States.