For a small company seeking to market a rival to a dominant brand, a patent lawsuit from a global pharma giant would seem to be a cause for concern. But Revance has a good chance of beating back AbbVie's recent patent case, one team of analysts figures.
After AbbVie earlier this month filed an infringement suit against Revance on five Botox patents, analysts with Wells Fargo spoke with a patent expert who believes the suit is "very unlikely to derail" Revance's potential launch of daxibotulinumtoxinA.
DaxibotulinumtoxinA is under FDA consideration as an injection for frown lines, which is one of Botox's approved aesthetic uses. The possible Botox rival is expected to score an approval by the end of the year, CEO Mark Foley told analysts in August.
AbbVie's lawsuit aims to halt Revance's product in its tracks. In the lawsuit, AbbVie is seeking a judgment from the court that its patents will be infringed plus damages that could include a "reasonable royalty and lost profits."
After the pharma giant filed its lawsuit, the Wells Fargo analysts spoke with Revance management, which voiced confidence the lawsuit wouldn't interfere with a potential launch. Now, after speaking with a patent consultant, the analysts said they're even more confident in Revance's case.
The lawsuit centers on five Botox patents that expire between 2022 and 2029. AbbVie built its case by relying on information publicly released by Revance, plus one Revance patent, the analysts wrote to clients on Monday.
Since patent cases typically take three years to resolve, three of the patents will have expired by the time the case is complete, the consultant said. In the meantime, AbbVie will likely ask for a preliminary injunction that's unlikely to be granted, the expert said. For its part, Revance may ask the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to review AbbVie's patents. Other than those potential developments, "the case will not hit any major milestones for roughly two years, and a final decision from the district court will likely take ballpark three years," the analysts wrote.
While the consultant said the case is unlikely to derail a potential launch, he believes it could force Revance "to pay modest cash damages in the future."
After AbbVie filed the suit, a Revance spokesperson said the company believes the patents at issue "are not infringed upon by Revance or our supply source partner Ajinomoto or are invalid."
"This lawsuit is one of several that Allergan has filed against their competitors in aesthetics and therapeutics and is a frequent tactic that the company uses in attempt to distract their competitors," she added, referring to the company that previously marketed Botox before its $63 billion buyout by AbbVie. "If anything, we believe it speaks to Allergan’s concern of how impactful our differentiated product will be in the market once approved."
Revance's product was originally set for a November 2020 decision from the FDA, but pandemic travel restrictions delayed required manufacturing plant inspections. Earlier this year, the FDA was able to conduct its inspections.
AbbVie's Botox generated $1.11 billion for cosmetic uses last year.