High Court Stay in Drug Patent Case Vacated

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the stay against discovery a California drugmaker faces over its foreign patents for an anemia treatment.
     The FibroGen’s foreign patents implicated in the case, European Patent No. EP 1 463 823 and Japanese Patent No. 4804131, both “concern the use of various chemical compounds in treating anemia,” according to court records.
     Akebia Therapeutics develops products using similar chemical compounds, and disputes the validity of FibroGen’s European and Japanese patents.
     Having already initiated opposition proceedings in both the European patent office and the Japanese patent office, Akebia filed an application to conduct discovery on FibroGen in California.
     A federal judge in San Francisco, where FibroGen is based, granted Akebia’s application, but imposed a restrictive protective order because of the confidential nature of the information sought.
     After a three-judge panel with the Ninth Circuit affirmed in July, FibroGen petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay.
     Justice Anthony Kennedy stayed the discovery order late Monday without comment, but the full court dissolved that stay Wednesday.
     The latest order is also without comment.

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