Fish & Richardson Part of Gilead Legal Team That Secures Reversal of $1.2 Billion Judgment Against Kite Pharma for Cancer Therapy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned a California federal district court's $1.2 billion judgment against Fish & Richardson client Kite Pharma, Inc., a Gilead subsidiary, ruling that a patent covering a form of cancer immunotherapy asserted by Bristol-Myers's Juno Therapeutics and the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research is invalid.

The case involves Kite's revolutionary CAR-T cancer immunotherapy YESCARTA®, which reprograms white blood cells to attack cancer in a patient's body. A California federal jury had earlier found that YESCARTA® infringed a Juno patent that broadly claimed CAR-T therapies directed to any cancer target and rejected Kite's arguments that the broad claims were not adequately supported. The Federal Circuit disagreed, finding the patent invalid because "no reasonable jury could find that the '190 patent satisfies the written description requirement."

A Fish team led by Geoff Biegler and Chad Shear was part of a multi-firm effort that produced the result for Gilead, working in close collaboration with co-trial counsel at Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, Gilead in-house lawyers, and appellate counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Biegler noted: "We are pleased with the Federal Circuit's decision, which correctly found that Juno's patent lacks adequate support and is invalid."

Fish has a long history of securing victories for Gilead. Previously, the firm represented Gilead in its worldwide, complex patent battle with Merck and Idenix Pharmaceuticals over Gilead's blockbuster hepatitis C drugs, winning a motion for judgment as a matter of law that reversed a $2.5 billion jury verdict - at that time, the largest patent damages award in history.

In addition to Biegler and Shear, the Fish lawyers involved in this case were Anita Meiklejohn, John Farrell, Greg Booker, Megan Chacon, and Lance Wyatt.

The case is Juno Therapeutics Inc. et al. v. Kite Pharma Inc.