Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Successor's Celebrex® Patent Dispute -- With BYU -- Settles

I note -- simply to complete the Celebrex® record, here -- that Pfizer, as the successor to Pharmacia last led by Fred Hassan and Carrie Cox (the last pharma before Schering-Plough!), has settled a multi-year series of patent disputes in Utah federal District Court overnight -- on confidential terms.

It is known that Pfizer will create an endowed chair for Dr. Daniel Simmons, an alleged largely uncredited co-inventor of the COX-2 inhibitor compounds -- one of which became Celebrex.

I should also note that the Hassan/Cox launch and marketing efforts on Celebrex, including allegedly delaying unfavorable study results -- led to what remains the largest criminal fine in multinational pharma history. Fabulous.

Here's a 12-page PDF of the last responsive pleading in the Utah patent dispute. [When one is reduced to arguing that press releases are confidential documents. . . one is likely on the losing end of an argument. Heh.]

From the Pfizer press release, then:

. . . .The parties to Brigham Young University and Dr. Daniel Simmons v. Pfizer Inc. et al., a matter in the United States Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, announce that they have reached an amicable settlement on confidential terms. As part of the resolution, BYU will establish the Dan Simmons Chair in recognition of Dr. Simmons' lifelong work and contributions towards advancing human health in a number of important areas including oncology, pain and Alzheimer's.

We are pleased to resolve this matter and the uncertainty of litigation and to be in a position to support Dr. Simmons' research efforts at BYU. . . .

Not with a bang -- but with a whimper -- it ends.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you've made mention in the past, Condor, but to bring some (Legacy) Merck color to the Celebrex fold, it is used as a lesson on information security. The story goes, and is retold countless times by senior management, that the third party contractors working on the marketing campaign for Vioxx were not careful with protecting the plans prior to launch and the packaging model was stolen and used for Celebrex.

Ever notice that the Celebrex logo is Merck's teal blue? Or the flair of the 'x' that resembles the reworked Vioxx 'x'? This IP theft allegedly delayed the Vioxx launch to accommodate the packaging changes that were suddenly needed when our marketing work showed up on Celebrex's packaging.

condor said...

Wait -- are you serious?!

Fred Hassan's team stole the marketing materials for Vioxx to make his run at Pharmacia with Celebrex???

I'll run this as a rumor, and see if anyone denies it.

Namaste, and thanks!