United Therapeutics Pursues New Claims For Trade Secret Misappropriation Against Liquidia
SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., June 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) announced today that it is pursuing additional claims for trade secret misappropriation against Liquidia Technologies Inc. (a subsidiary of Liquidia Corporation, Nasdaq: LQDA) and a former United Therapeutics employee who later joined Liquidia as an executive. The claims allege that Liquidia conspired with the former employee to misappropriate United Therapeutics' trade secrets, including regulatory submissions and detailed financial forecasts, in the development of Liquidia's product, LIQ861.
United Therapeutics initially filed a patent infringement lawsuit in June 2020 in response to a New Drug Application (NDA) filed by Liquidia with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting approval to market LIQ861, a dry powder inhalation formulation of treprostinil. The NDA was filed under the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway with United Therapeutics' product, Tyvaso® (treprostinil) Inhalation Solution, as the reference listed drug. In April 2020, United Therapeutics received a Paragraph IV notification letter from Liquidia indicating that Liquidia's NDA contains a certification alleging that LIQ861 will not infringe any of the patents then listed in the Orange Book for Tyvaso because those patents are not valid, not enforceable, and/or will not be infringed by the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of LIQ861. In response, United Therapeutics sued Liquidia for infringing two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 9,604,901 and 9,593,066, and later added a third patent, U.S. Patent No. 10,716,793, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
As a result of United Therapeutics' lawsuit, FDA is precluded from approving LIQ861 until the expiration of a 30-month stay in October 2022, or the entry of final judgment in the litigation, whichever comes first.
During discovery in the patent infringement case, United Therapeutics uncovered evidence that a former United Therapeutics employee took United Therapeutics' trade secrets when he left the company and joined Liquidia to develop LIQ861. The former employee, who was central to Tyvaso's development, brought to Liquidia confidential United Therapeutics documents, including confidential FDA submissions and detailed financial forecasts relating to Tyvaso. On June 4, 2021, United Therapeutics filed a motion alleging that Liquidia used these trade secrets in the development of LIQ861 and seeking permission from the court to pursue these additional claims based on this newly-discovered information. United Therapeutics is seeking monetary damages to compensate it for this misappropriation, trebled damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and injunctive relief.
The case is currently scheduled for trial in March 2022.
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TYVASO is a registered trademark of United Therapeutics Corporation.
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Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:UTHR, NASDAQ-NMS:LQDA