[Federal Register: March 19, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 54)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13055-13056]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr19mr04-60]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Food and Drug Administration

[Docket No. 2003E-0458]

 
Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent 
Extension; VELCADE

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the 
regulatory review period for VELCADE and is publishing this notice of 
that determination as required by law. FDA has made the determination 
because of the submission of an application to the Director of Patents 
and Trademarks, Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent 
that claims that human drug product.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments and petitions to the Division of 
Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 
Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments 
to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments .


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Claudia Grillo, Office of Regulatory 
Policy (HFD-013), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, 
Rockville, MD 20857, 240-453-6699.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term 
Restoration Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-417) and the Generic Animal Drug 
and Patent Term Restoration Act (Public Law 100-670) generally provide 
that a patent may be extended for a period of up to 5 years so long as 
the patented item (human drug product, animal drug product, medical 
device, food additive, or color additive) was subject to regulatory 
review by FDA before the item was marketed. Under these acts, a 
product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the 
amount of extension an applicant may receive.
    A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A 
testing phase and an approval phase. For human drug products, the 
testing phase begins when the exemption to permit the clinical 
investigations of the drug becomes effective and runs until the 
approval phase begins. The approval phase starts with the initial 
submission of an application to market the human drug product and 
continues until FDA grants permission to market the drug product. 
Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward 
the actual amount of extension that the Director of Patents and 
Trademarks may award (for example, half the testing phase must be 
subtracted as well as any time that may have occurred before the patent 
was issued), FDA's determination of the length of a regulatory review 
period for a human drug product will include all of the testing phase 
and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(1)(B).
    FDA recently approved for marketing the human drug product VELCADE 
bortezomib). VELCADE for Injection is indicated for the treatment of 
multiple myeloma patients who have received at least two prior 
therapies and have demonstrated disease progression on the last 
therapy. Subsequent to this approval, the Patent and Trademark Office 
received a patent term restoration application for VELCADE (U.S. Patent 
No. 5,780,454) from Millenium Pharmaceuticals, and the Patent and 
Trademark Office requested FDA's assistance in determining this 
patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated 
November 18, 2003, FDA advised the Patent and Trademark Office that 
this human drug product had undergone a regulatory review period and 
that the approval of VELCADE represented the first permitted commercial 
marketing or use of the product. Shortly thereafter, the Patent and 
Trademark Office requested that FDA determine the product's regulatory 
review period.
    FDA has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for 
VELCADE is 1,723 days. Of this time, 1,610 days occurred during the 
testing phase of the regulatory review period, while 113 days occurred 
during the approval phase. These periods of time were derived from the 
following dates:
    1. The date an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) (21 U.S.C. 355(i)) became effective: 
August 26, 1998. The applicant claims August 22, 1998, as the date the 
investigational new drug application (IND) became effective. However, 
FDA records indicate that the IND effective date was August 26, 1998, 
which was 30 days after FDA receipt of the IND.
    2. The date the application was initially submitted with respect to 
the human drug product under section 505(b) of the act: January 21, 
2003. FDA has verified the applicant's claim that the new drug 
application (NDA) for VELCADE (NDA 21-602) was initially submitted on 
January 21, 2003.
    3. The date the application was approved: May 13, 2003. FDA has 
verified the applicant's claim that NDA 21-602 was approved on May 13, 
2003.
    This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the 
maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the U.S. 
Patent and Trademark Office applies several statutory limitations in 
its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its 
application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 920 days of 
patent term extension.
    Anyone with knowledge that any of the dates as published are 
incorrect may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see 
ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments and ask for a redetermination 
by May 18, 2004. Furthermore, any interested person may petition FDA 
for a determination regarding whether the applicant for extension acted 
with due diligence during the regulatory review period by September 15, 
2004. To meet its burden, the petition must contain sufficient facts to 
merit an FDA investigation. (See H. Rept. 857, part 1, 98th Cong., 2d 
sess., pp. 41-42, 1984.) Petitions should be in the format specified in 
21 CFR 10.30.
    Comments and petitions should be submitted to the Division of 
Dockets Management. Three copies of any mailed information are to be 
submitted, except that individuals may submit one copy. Comments are to 
be identified with the docket number found in

[[Page 13056]]

brackets in the heading of this document. Comments and petitions may be 
seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday.

    Dated: February 17, 2004.
Jane A. Axelrad,
Associate Director for Policy, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
[FR Doc. 04-6159 Filed 3-18-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S